Part 1




Among many significant contributions of ancient Indian scientists, Vymanika Shastra is notably a towering work dealing with vimanas and allied topics.  Aviation as a subject, wrests its own charm over other disciplines even today. This makes the presence of this work even more glamorous.  For a casual reader this work may appear to be a fantasy, for a researcher on first reading, curiosity gets kindled.  Successive readings see the cream slowly surfacing commensurate with ones ability to comprehend concepts, tolerance to appreciate the depth of basic researches preceding the technologies and systems of aviation science


It is the firm view of many researchers that mere knowledge of Sanskrit or science or both synthesized plays little role in true understanding of such works.  The authors were intelligent to use coded terms, symbolic expressions, archaic language to safeguard knowledge falling to unauthorized sources.   For right understanding true flair and that much of extra perception to decode and interpret with reference to context plays the decisive role. This is where many with correct approach succeeded while others failed.  This logic remains the same be it a scientific work such as this or Indian philosophy.  Both form two sides of the same coin, the coin being ‘Knowledge’.   As study of philosophy demands faith, perseverance, genuine insight, ancient Indian science is no different


No one ventures into pronouncing a scientific work unless one has something meaningful to convey.  The author, whether he was Maharshi Bharadwaja or Mr. X must have known this too.


The work “Vymanika shastra” is not meant for the biased scientist of the day who prefers to believe what he want to believe.







It all started on a pleasant winter evening of 1998.  During a discourse on renowned mythological epic Mahabharata, the eminent scholar sidestepped to make reference to the existence of vimanas in epic era.  He further elaborated to aver the existence of ancient Indian treatise “Vymanika shastra” dealing with Aviation science and Technology.  He indicated that this work had been ascribed to Maharshi Bharadwaja and conveyed to the world, in Sanskrit narration, through Late Pandit Anekal Subbaraya Shastry in the first decade of twentieth century.  Not many in the audience had known this before.  At the end of the discourse most of them had appreciated what they had heard, but forgot it as well.  There were exceptions too.  Musing over the interesting revelations, probing started in right earnest.  The scholar delivering the lecture had nothing more to contribute.  Nevertheless, he was firm on what he had conveyed.


Perseverance led to location of the work in a primitive library and a solitary bookstall in Bangalore.  Cleaning the dust-clad copy of the work was not a pleasant experience.  A few copies had reached the curious brains long ago, many of them being foreigners.  The rest had found their way to the condemned cellar. 


Debut reading of the work conveyed mixed feeling of amazement and skepticism.  Patient successive readings generated conviction and added interest.  The eerie feeling ‘Is it a wild goose chase? however, lingered on for a while. On gathering more information about the work, it was discovered that we were not alone in our pursuit.  We had company. Reportedly many had studied the work.  Some liked it and others dumped it. Many others not willing to be bystanders, went skin - deep and wrote derogatory reviews.  It was not their cup of tea.  They had no clue of understanding such works.  They trailed from where others moved ahead.  Their success was merely in creating roadblocks to genuine researchers. 


Scientists with true resolve carried on with incessant efforts.  This group included freelance researchers, science laboratories, and scholars.  Dedicated topics were taken up for study as specific projects. While freelancers, with their limited resources, came out with impressive results, science laboratories succeeded in fabricating hardware from the treatise as per prescribed formulae.  Scholars and scientists from abroad did not lag behind.  “Vymanika Shastra” is quoted by many of them for its relevance in many scientific literatures, particularly in USA. Germans were reported to have bought fifteen copies of the work within few days of its release in 1973.


Just quoting the summarized findings from a report of Birla Science Centre, Hyderabad, relating to researches on three types of alloys developed by them as described in the textual content of this work, they find:


“As these materials were found to be novel in their compositions and preparations patents have been asked for them.  The experimental results in BISR laboratory established the originality and textual description of the materials in “Vimana Shastra”.  Therefore there is a strong possibility that the large number of descriptions of other new materials described may also yield good experimental results in the laboratory.”


The study team found company and enough company too, inland and foreign.  What is sighted at the turn of the century appears to be still the tip of the iceberg.  There is more and much more the work “Vymanika Shastra” has to convey, hidden in the potent future









Special Acknowledgements


The Project Study Team gratefully acknowledges the keen interest evinced by The Aeronautical Society of India, Bangalore and AR & DB, Ministry of Defence (R&D) for sanctioning the study project.  We are thankful to Dr. K. Ramchand, Director, The Centre for Airborne Studies, Bangalore and Air Marshal P. Rajkumar, PVSM, AVSM, VM, President AeSI Bangalore, for their valuable support.


1.      Dr. T.N. Prakash, panel coordinator AR & DB.

2.      Wg.Cdr. A.E. Patrawalla, Honorary Secretary, AeSI, Bangalore.

3.      Sri. Bannanje Govindacharya, Eminent Scholar on Indian Philosophy, Bangalore.

4.      Dr. V. Prabhanjanacharya, Professor of Sanskrit and Illustrious scholar on Indian Philosophy.

5.      Dr. P. Ramachandra Rao, Director, NML, Jamshedpur.

6.      Air Cmde. P.S. Subramanian. V.M, Bangalore.

7.      Dr. B.G.Siddarth, Director Birla Science Centre, Hyderabad.

8.      Dr. Maheshwar Sharon, Dept. of Chemistry, IIT, Bombay.

9.      Dr. V.K. Didolkar, Sri. Deepak Deshpande, Sri. M.K. Kawadkar. (Bharatiya           Boudhika Sampada) Nagpur.

10.  Dr. R. Ganesh, Eminent Scholar on Indian Philosophy, Bangalore.

11.  Dr. K.H.  Krishna Murthy, Former Professor of Ayurvedic Medicine, Pondichery Medical College, Bangalore.

12.  GP. CAPT. M. Matheswaran VM. Indian Air Force.

13.  Wg. Cdr. S.S. Yegnaswami, Bangalore

14.  Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., Bangalore.

15.  Sri. N.G. Sheth, Bombay.

16.  Oriental Research Libraries, Pune and Baroda.

17.  Sri. Shraddhalu Ranade, Aurabindo Ashram, Pondichery.

18.  Veda-vignana Parishat, Bangalore.

19.  Sri. S. Krishna Murthy, Director, Public Relation, ISRO, Bangalore.

20.  Sri. M. Madhu Rao, Bangalore.

21.  Dr. Upendra Shenoi, Bangalore.

22.  Indian Institute of World Culture, Bangalore.

23.  Sri. K. Rajagopal, Bangalore.

24.  Sri. Ahobala Shastry, Bangalore

25.  Sri. P.V. Ramaprasad, Pune.

26.  Mr. M. R. Narendra, Bangalore.

27.  Mrs Muktha Badrishprasad, Bangalore.

28.  Mrs Sudha P Rao, Bangalore.

29.  Mr Satyanand. M. P., Bangalore.

30.  Mr B.V. Rajesh, Bangalore.


NOTE: Copies or extracts of this report shall not be taken without the written consent of the principal investigator










The work “Vymanika Shastra” has appeared in twentieth century in Sanskrit transcript form and subsequently translated versions in Hindi and English have been derived.  There are different versions with different titles leading to possible confusion among the readers and research scholars.  We have therefore devoted some effort to place the facts in the right perspective.


In this process, it is appropriate to commence this topic with the narration front-lined on G.R. Josyer’s publication, which reads as follows.


“Maharshi Bharadwaja’s ‘Vymanika Shastra’ or ‘Science of Aeronautics’ as revealed to venerable Subbaraya Shastry and recorded in hand written Sanskrit script form, translated to English by G.R. Josyer.M.A [hons] FRES, MRSE.


Four variants with different titles are as follows:


    A] Vymanika prakaranam


    B] Vymanika shastra


    C] Vimana shastra


    D] Bruhad Vimana Shastra



We clarify here that the base work for all the four versions are common-sourced from the Sanskrit transcript of Pandit Subbaraya Shastry’s revelations and recorded by his close associate and Sanskrit scholar Sri. G. Venkatachala sharma.  They were recorded in 23 exercise books during the period 1903 to1918.  Manuscript copies of this were sent as Vymanika Prakaranam to two Oriental Institutes in India.  One was sent to Oriental Library at Baroda on 3rd June 1919 and the second sent to Oriental Research Institute, Poona on 19th August 1919.  Hence the work has been referred to by many as Vymanika Prakaranam even though only Sanskrit parts of the published versions carry this tittle.  These exercise books suffered long hybernation.  A work called “Vymanika shastra” in Sanskrit alone seems to have come out from Dayanand Bhavan, Delhi in 1943.  This is the second variant.


The third variant is based on the copy of “Vymanika prakaranam” sent to Baroda Oriental Library.  A Hindi translated version of this book titled ‘Brihad Vimana Shastra’ was edited by Swami Brahma Muni Parivrajak Gurukul Kangdi, Hardwar and published by Sarvadeshika Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, Dayanand Bhavan, New Delhi in the year 1959.  In the publication of this Hindi version, the initiative taken by Air commodore S. N. Goyal of the Indian Air force has been particularly appreciated.  ‘Bruhad Vimana Shastra’ became the reference work for many researchers in North India.


The variant referred to as ‘Vymanika Shastra’ published in Sanskrit- English languages had its base on the copies sent to Oriental Libraries in 1919 and something more.  The work remained in manuscript form till 1923 and even later.  But between 1919 and 1923 there is evidence of ‘add on’ textual content to the work in the form of description and diagrams of four types of representative vimanas--Sundara, Shakuna, Rukma and Tripura vimana. The work of making drawings was entrusted to a draughtsman T.K. Ellappa working in an engineering school.  The drawings were prepared by him and appended as approved by Sri Subbaraya Shastry on 2nd December 1923.  This is the last occasion that any material went into the Sanskrit transcript.  The transcripts remained in exercise-book-form for the next three decades under the joint custody of Sri Shastriji’s adopted son and Sri Venkatachala Sharma.  It was in 1952 that the books found the light of the day when they were brought into an exhibition of antique works conducted by International Academy of Sanskrit Research, Mysore.  Mr. G. R. Josyer, being the Honorary Director of the Academy showed tremendous initiative. Translation work took a long time and eventually “Vymanika Shastra” was published on 15th March 1973. This book became the reference work for many in South India & abroad.


A short brochure of about 30 pages was reportedly published by Acharya Charanathirtha Maharaj from Sri Bhuvaneshwari Ayurveda Vidya Peetha, Gondah in Sourastra in September 1952.


Swany Dayananda Sarswathi, a towering scholar of the last century, while referring to flying machines in his commentary on Rig-Veda Bhashya Bhumika, narrates certain aspects of propulsive thrust of vimanas in directional control.  This was in 1875.


Another book called ‘Vimana vamanam’ authored by Nathumal Brahmachari, finds its place in Udaipur palace library.


For practical purposes, only “Vymanika Shastra” and ‘Bruhad Vimana shastra’ can be taken as reference, the other titles are only of academic nature.  Sri Josyer’s publication is taken for reference by the study team.


Going into essential differences between the two variants, apart from English-Hindi translations, Maharshi Bharadwaja’s original version extracted from ‘Yantra Sarwaswa’ contained 500 Sutras {rules}, 8 Chapters and 10 Adikaranas. ‘Vymanika Shastra’ [English version] contains six chapters, 2972 verses.  Bruhad vimana shastra contains 40 rules in 3 chapters and 2657 verses. 

In substance, Bruhad Vimana Shastra has 315 verses less.  This is possibly because of addition of descriptions of 4 vimanas that ‘Vymanika Shastra’ contains today.  This difference will not matter as much as the difference we see from the original work to the transcripted work. The reasons for this could be ascribed to various factors:


The period of transcripting spanned for over 15 years and the manuscript copies waited in the freezer for 3 to 4 decades.  As G. R. Josyer observes ‘The transcripts came in various forms of decay’. Loss of such literature through pests, quality of paper, loss during transit, change of hands could well be imagined.  Further, such works that claimed to be of ancient Indian origin did not find recognition during the British colonial rule facing freedom struggle.  It is said that even possession of such literature was considered Anti-British.  The scholars who possessed such works had to keep them concealed.  Loss of sheets, obliteration of manuscripts, environmental influences could have taken a heavy toll.










The work ‘Vymanika Shastra’ has been ascribed to the great sage of ancient India, Maharshi Bharadwaja.  From the data available, references related to the work have transited through earlier times of known history.  It is also claimed that the work is among forty topics of ‘Yantra Sarwaswa’ that dealt with ‘All about machines’.   It is not a matter of dispute that basic work for translated variants of Vymanika Shastra  (English & Hindi) published in the country was originated from Sanskrit manuscript dictated by Pundit Anekal Subbaraya Shastry to a Sanskrit scholar, Sri G Venkatachala Sharma. 


There have been doubts and controversies raised in some earlier reviews regarding the authorship and dating. Treatises of this nature where documented records of the past are not available due to various reasons naturally attract such issues. This aspect needs careful and logical scrutiny. This is especially so in the face of some critics having made generalised statements that Indians have a habit of eulogising the authors and works of such genesis.


Many scientists today look at Mythology with scepticism and accept only recorded history as gospel truth even if recorded history itself has suffered distortions. They are antagonistic to the belief that Mythology preceded history in civilisations the world over.  This is primarily because the links between history and mythology are loose and not conclusively established.  Periods of vacuum between mythology and history have compounded the problems in the efforts to bridge the gap. Repeated invasions before and during the Mogul rule, colonial rule under the British put together spanning nearly ten centuries (with occasional breathers of domestic supremacy) contributed a great deal towards suppression and hybernation of ancient Indian works, Scientific, Spiritual and literary.


It is in the backdrop of such observations that this study exercise has probed into the subject of authorship and dating.  It is for this reason alone that ‘Background of the work’ conforming to recorded data from the genesis of Sanskrit manuscripts conveyed by Pundit Sri Subbaraya Shastry has been separately dealt with in earlier discussion.


Discussions: Several natural questions do come up in this context.


  1. Who was Maharshi Bharadwaja, ascribed to be the author of this work ‘Vymanika Shastra’, supposedly a part of ‘Yantra sarwaswa’?
  2. Is this work of Vedic origin? Is it in Vedic language? If not, why so?
  3. Who is Bodhananda that has written ‘Vritti’ or ‘commentary’ on this? Why did he have to write commentary? What is his role?
  4. What are the scholastic credentials of seer Bharadwaja for being ascribed with the authorship?  Did the textual content culled out from Vedic origin all by himself or others also featured?



Collection of answers to questions of this nature brought out interesting answers both from Mythology and History.


Regarding Maharshi Bharadwaja:


He is known to be a towering scholar both in science, philosophy and warfare. His is an august name in the pantheon of Hindu sages who recorded knowledge in the spiritual, intellectual and scientific fields. During his period, knowledge was transmitted from mouth to mouth and ear to ear.


Maharshi Bharadwaja, according to some scholars, belonged to Thretha Yuga and to Dwapara Yuga to some others, linking him with Dronacharya’s ancestry. He is known to belong to sixth mandala of Rigveda.  He has also authored Srauta shastra and smriti work. He figures in the genealogy of Bruhaspati, the principal preceptor of all Hindu deities and his son being seer Bharadwaja. Bharadwaja’s son Dronacharya, again was the preceptor of Pandavas and Kauravas during Mahabharata era. It should be no surprise that a seer with this background of generation possessed a vast variety of knowledge to author a work such as ‘Yantra Sarwaswa’.  In this connection, discussions on the subject with a well-known scholar of Bangalore Dr.V.Prabhanjanacharya spotlight the subject.  This is enclosed as an appendix to this chapter, which clarifies many doubts.


Maharshi Bharadwaja transcended from one Yuga to another.  He is among the seven prime seers of Mythological era.  Whether there were other seers by his name is not known. It is possible that seers succeeding him in his Gothra could have been known by the same name. Nevertheless, he is the only Bharadwaja referred to as one among Maharshis.  He has also authored ‘Anshu Bodhini’ dealing with cosmology, few sections of which are still available. Its reference is made to several topics in ‘Vymanika Shastra’. It again features commentary from Bodhananda. The style of Sanskrit in ‘Vymanika shastra’ and ‘Anshu Bodhini’ have been studied by Sanskrit scholars for a possible commonality of authorship. Their opinion confirms common authorship.


The introductory part of the subject work clearly avers as follows. Maharshi Bharadwaja’s ‘Vymanika shastra’ or ‘Science of Aeronautics’ is a part of his unknown work ‘Yantra sarwaswa’ or ‘all about machines’. Here we see no reason why anyone should be attributing the work to him without any gain for himself. No one else down the line has claimed the authorship nor has anyone disputed. 


Deliberating on the dating aspect of the work, the data gathered by the study team explains certain crucial issues.  The work itself is not a part of Vedas as is misunderstood by many.  No where it is claimed so either. It is claimed to be the essence and offshoot from the principles of Vedic knowledge. It is necessary to understand that Vedas are ‘Anaadi’ or ‘from-time-immemorial’, they had no relationship with time cycle.

The basic structure of Vedas has remained unaltered, interpretations however could be different. Nevertheless, essence could have been communicated by preceptors at many points of time, in any style of Sanskrit, which could be even in a contemporary structure of the language.  It could even be in a different language conveyed to someone distant in any part of the world.  Hence, going into the exercise of verifying the number of Vedic Sanskrit words Vis-a-Vis medieval or modern Sanskrit language is a tangential approach and serves no useful purpose. In fact, Sri.G.R.Josyer who was himself an eminent Sanskrit scholar has paid tributes to the high fidelity of Sanskrit language of the text.


Despite being one of the most knowledgeable seers himself, Maharshi Bharadwaja has chosen to quote lucid definitions, rules or soothras of other sages and preceptors. Bodhananda’s commentaries have referred to expressions from these sages and Acharyas and works on related ancient sciences.  Brief descriptions of other scientific guides / works in this book have been given in another work of Sri. Madhusudhana Saraswati, ‘Prasthana Thraya’. 


Discussing the dating of the work, all that can be said with a fair degree of certainty is that the work, being a part of ‘Yantra Sarwaswa’ featured at several points of time in known History.  Science of aeronautics was in existence even earlier than Bodhananda.  Bodhananda chose to write ‘Vritti’ or commentary or explanatory notes on the seer’s pronouncements for ease of understanding by the users. This was a traditional treatment given to very many works of philosophy as well.  Bodhananda was known to be in 10th century AD according to some research sources.


Confirmation on references to the textual content of the work during the 19th century is discovered by an observation in which Maharshi Dayananda saraswati had given clarification on the direction of thrust of propulsive devices of Vimanas quoting Rig-Bhashya Bhumika. This was dated to be in 1875.  As we notice from that text of ‘Vymanika Shastra’ it is a work based on many disciplines of science and technology, described by core researchers of several fields.  Each ‘sootra’ or ‘rule’ contains references to several topics of science or technology.  Under the given conditions, there is adequate logic to accept that ‘Yantra Sarwaswa’ was an offshoot of Vedic knowledge. The Vymanika shastra came into being in manuscript form between 1903 to 1918 as revelations by Mystic scholar Anekal Subbaraya Shastry.


While this much of discussion is devoted for protagonists of Vedas, mythology, the seers and the like, let us turn to the antagonistic scholars and scientists who prefer to view the subject of authorship and dating under their self-imposed scientific frame work. If it is appropriate and tenable to go by recorded history and ignore the mythological relationship, let us go by the validation of textual content and correlate with modern science wherever possible.  Let not such critics be concerned with Bharadwajas of the distant past.




Life- sketch of Sri Anekal Subbaraya Shastri:


In the chain of relating the work to Pundit Anekal Subbaraya Shastry’s revelations, propriety demands deliberations on his life sketch as well as linking his work up to the stage it was printed and published in 1973. This data has been collected from his biographical sketch, his descendants, younger associates of his time and other detailed inquiries during the probe of the study.


An autobiography of Sri Anekal Subraya Shastry was published by Sri M.C. Krishna Swamy Iyengar and Sri Venkatachala Sharma on 12th March 1972.  This was an English version; translated by Sri G.V. Sharma based on the narration of Sri Shastriji in his vernacular.  From this autobiographic sketch it is evident that Sri Shastriji had committed to Dr Jagdeesh Chandra Bose, an eminent scientist of the yester years, that he would send his biographic script.  This has been addressed separately to both Dr. J.C. Bose and Sri Babubhai Iswardas Ichcharam whom Sri Shastriji had met at Bombay and had close interaction.  Sri Ichcharam, besides being his ardent disciple had supported him financially too.  This biographic sketch, though in minute detail, has an abrupt ending.  It covers his life story up to the year 1918.  Curiously, this sketch does not include a significant part of a special message conveyed by his godfather Sri Guruji Maharaj.  This special message, however, features in another Biographic sketch (a much-abridged version) also brought out by Sri Krishna Swamy Iyengar.


According to his autobiography Sri Shastriji was born in 1866 AD in a village called Togare Agraharam in Hosur Taluk, Dharmapuri Dist of Tamil Nadu.  He was born as the eldest son in a large orthodox Brahmin family.  His father was a learned and benevolent individual who supported many students at home.  As his own family grew in size, he found it increasingly difficult to maintain.  Eventually he became penniless even when children were still urchins.  Sri Shastriji lost his parents early in life and had to bear the brunt of supporting all his younger ones.  From then onwards, it is a story of misery and poverty.  Soon he had to take up begging.  Compounding his travails was his marriage with an eight-year-old girl, his own age being twelve.  Fortunately his infant wife had not yet joined him to undergo suffering.  It did not take very long for the lot of children to choose the pavements for their living.  As though this was not enough, cholera and small pox broke out in the district, killing people in hundreds.  Sri Shastriji’s family was not spared.  All but two brothers fell prey to the deadly epidemic.  Eventually it was his turn to invite infection.  His body became a home of infectious blisters, puss oozing out.  His sight was abhorring.  People drove him out.  He survived on tender leaves and vegetation around.  In short he felt that the world just discarded him.  Left with no option, he sent his brothers away to fend for themselves. 


Then came the ultimate decision to call it a day from this world.  He kept walking for days and reached a forest near a place called Avani in Kolar Dist.  He lived in the wild, visited often by snakes and tigers.  He wondered how he survived in this deadly company, living on vegetation and water for many years.


There is an end for everything and possibly, for his travails too.  One day, while he was roaming in the forest, he entered a cave and after some distance he found a vast under-ground enclosure.  There, he came across a woman whom he recalls as his dead mother.  He was consoled and taken care of for some time and she vanished as mysteriously as she had appeared.


According to Sri Shastriji’s life sketch it was in this underground cave that he sighted Sri.Guruji Maharaj who bore super human features. Sri Guruji played a significant role in the rest of his life.  He took care of him and cured his obnoxious disease with one healing touch.  The young lad recovered his normal health.   


During this unspecified period of association with Sri Guruji, he learnt a number of rituals, physical sciences or Bhoutika Shastras.   Sri Guruji, while precepting Bhautika Shastras had put a stringent condition that his disciple should assure him of protecting these shastras from use on for destructive purposes.  He had even imposed total restraint on his participation in debates, social gatherings, associations with political parties etc., Thereafter, Sri. Guruji administered a brilliant light on him, which touched his ‘Saraswati-Nadi’.  He started making utterances in Sanskrit, involuntarily. 


Then Sri Guruji wrote something on his tongue with a twig.  This consummated the process of Divine Enlightenment. This was followed by teaching of Bhoutika shastras.  On completion of these rituals, Sri Shastriji felt that Bhautika Shastras were visible and accessible to him.  At this juncture, he honestly expresses that till that point of enlightenment in life, he was an illiterate, not having gone to any school nor learnt any language.  He was amazed to discover in himself not only the knowledge of – Sanskrit but also to convey Bhoutika Shastras through that medium.  In his own admission he reveals that he learnt the alphabets of Kannada and Telugu after his return to his village during the post-enlightenment period.  There ended the divine association of Sri. Shastriji and Sri Guruji Maharaj in the wild forest.  He was sent back after serene blessings to return to his village and continue his mission in pursuit of propagation of knowledge of Bhautika shastras.  Though unwilling to part from the company of Sri. Guruji, he returned to his village with a heavy heart, but with a mission ahead.  Strangely, a native Brahmin of a village Malavalli had a premonition that a young lad of a particular description would appear in the village and he should take care of him for two months and let him proceed on his mission.


On completion of his sojourn with the noble Brahmin at Malavalli, Sri. Shastriji left that village again to face the wide world, under more positive circumstances this time.  Feeling physically fit, psychologically sound, he decided to go to Hosur.  There, he met his surviving brother.  A little latter he joined his wife at Anekal and started a family life.  Sri Shastriji spent subsequent twenty-five years at Anekal.  During this period he had three sons and three daughters.  All his sons and one daughter died very young.  He moved to Bangalore and stayed in a locality called Cottenpet in the midst of the old city.  For some time he remained an unknown individual, but not for long.

The news of his potent knowledge of Bhoutika Shastras had reached many intellectuals.  Visitors streamed in to discuss with him.  His recitations and pronouncements from Bhautika Shastras impressed many.


The breakthrough in his life came with a visitor from Bombay, Sri. Poonjilal Giridhar, a noted industrialist of Bombay and Ahemdabad.  He had come at the instance of one Sri. Babubhai Iswardas Ichcharam, who invited Sri. Shastriji to go over to Bombay.  On acceptance of their invitation, elaborate arrangements for a sizeable retinue of Sri Shastriji was made.  He received a rousing welcome and was their guest for several months.


A significant meeting at Bombay was with Dr. Talpade who had conducted experiments on constructing aeroplanes.  Dr. Talpade consulted him in this matter.  It was here that Sri. Shastriji first referred to Sri. Maharshi Bhardwaja’s Vymanika Shastra, which he explained it to Dr. Talpade.  The latter continued his experiments but suffered a serious set back in the progress due to ill health.  The project came to a halt on his demise.  By then he had conveyed that vimanas were not toys of someone’s fancy nor were objects of mythology.  Possibly this is the first attempt of construction of aeroplane around 1900AD by an Indian. Unconfirmed reports have talked of Dr. Talpade’s sucessful flying of aeroplane over Chowpati beach, Mumbai in the last decade of the nineteenth century


The visitors at Sri Shastriji’s flat at Bombay multiplied day by day.  They included Philosophers, Scientists, Rulers of erstwhile princely states of India and the elite of Bombay and outside. He thanks Sri Guruji Maharaj for his guidance in answering questions of his visitors and discussions with them.  His audience was spell bound by his mystic knowledge.  Some called him a walking lexicon, a genius and a super human.


A number of Sri.Shastriji’s followers met at Bombay to decide that the treasure of spoken knowledge of “Bhoutika Shastras” should be scripted by him and published.  Sri Babubhai agreed with this proposal and offered to fund the activity.  Sri Shastriji agreed to undertake this request but not before he got the consent from his Guru.  It is thus seen in his life that before taking any major decisions Sri. Guruji had guided him all along.   He agreed to do so on his return to Bangalore.


Sri Shastriji returned to Bangalore after an emotional farewell from a host of his admirers.  In the next three years not much of progress could be made in writing of Bhoutika Shastras for various reasons.  All through this period Sri Bhabubhai had been regularly funding him.


This is where the autobiography being conveyed to Dr. J. C. Bose ends abruptly.  In the concluding paragraphs Sri Shastriji recalls his meetings with Dr. Bose at Bombay.  From his life sketch it becomes evident that he was a honest and unassuming person.  All along he maintained that he was a mere conveyer of the Shastras pronounced through him by divine source.


As an appendage to his biographic sketch, Sri G.V. Sharma had made some interesting remarks.  As per this the former had been specially chosen for his Sanskrit knowledge to transcript dictations of the latter’s revelations and he associated with him all through his life.  Even later he was a joint custodian of his works.  Sri Sharma refers to a brief life sketch brought out in January 1911 as a part of ‘Bouthika Kala Nidhi’ published by Sri B. Suryanarayana Rao, a noted astrologer and a staunch admirer of the pandit.  Sri Sharma has also given a list of published works of the pandit which include ‘Anshu Bodhinee’, ‘Prasthana Thraya’, ‘Bruhad Madhusudana Smriti’ ‘Raja Bhakti’, Desha Bhakti’, ‘Panchagavya Shastra’, ‘Jala Tatwa Prakashika’, ‘Maha Sankalpa Vichara’ etc., espounded by Sri Guruji through the pandit.


Drawing curtains on Sri Shastriji’s life- sketch a few observations seem to be appropriate.  Even though he had set forth on a mission to convey Bouthika Shastra for the benefit of mankind, he had an innate feeling of a lost mission. The contemporary political situation in the country must have had adverse impact on propagation of such native scientific knowledge.


The latter part of Sri Shastriji’s life found him to be a dejected and disappointed person with an unfulfilled mission. Freedom struggle in the country barricaded his routes to the elite. This legendary person left behind him a treasure of works with his adopted son Sri Venkatrama Shastri. The surviving members of the family living in an innocuous house in Bangalore hardly know what their illustrious ancestor had left for the intellectual world. It is ironical that his life story makes a pensive reading.  He did not live long to see his contribution freezing in cold storage for many decades.  It would have been even more agonizing had he stayed long enough to see his work hibernating.    











Probes of the study team, infact had started from early 1999. Extensive correspondence, leg work in contacting and meeting persons connected, even remotely, with the work and its conveyor Shree Anekal Subbarayashastri, his associates, descendants, research workers within and outside the country was an intense exercise and interesting too.


The starting point was, of course, the acquisition of G.R.Joyser’s published work ‘Vymanika shastra’, from a less known book stall in Bangalore. A few leading libraries had just one copy in their reference sections. During this process several sources confirmed that many a copy have been taken by foreign researchers. Over eight universities libraries in USA and UK accessed through the Internet confirmed availability of copies in their libraries. It was interesting that some individual research workers had been working seriously on the work. From the collation of information, it is noted that a majority of researches conducted abroad belonged to post 1985 period. Here again, some of the published books abroad indicate that researches there have been continuos and steady till current times. One has to acknowledge the seriousness with which works of this nature pertaining to ancient India has been taken. Needless to say that inland scholars have a lot more to emulate. A more incisive observation is that focus on research of this works both in India and abroad has come about pointedly after 1988.


A study is conducted by our team on the chronology of Indian researches from various reports and claims. The turnkey for researchers was the publication of ‘Vymaanika Shastra’ by G.R.Joyser (English) and ‘Brihad Vimaana Shastra’ edited by Swami Brahmamuni Parivrajaka Gurukul Kandgi of Haridvar and published by Dayanand Bhavan, New Delhi in Sanskrit-Hindi. The first known research appears to from Sri Naren Sheth of Mumbai, a freelance enthusiast. His research as claimed by him spans nearly thirty years. Due credit goes to him for his zeal and dedication even with meagre sources of laboratory facilities. His reports mention the assistance sought from IIT Bombay, BARC, TIFR etc. in preparing laboratory samples of ‘Chumbakamani’, ‘Panchadharaloha’.  Sri Naren Sheth is seventy years of age now. He is keen to demonstrate the preparation of the materials he developed for the benefit of genuine researchers on invitation basis.  Extract of his report is appended (Appendix – A)


The second known attempt was a ‘A Critical study’ of the work by a team of scientists from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, from 1973-1974, soon after the publication of Joseyer’s translation. Notably this review undertaken in the backdrop of principles of modern science did not find favour with the critics. Contemporary aerodynamics and propulsion principles were heavily superimposed during this review. Had the study gone deeper into Yantras (machines) and advanced material technology dealt in the text they would have had second thoughts. The text, seen under the principles of mercury vapour propulsion, Levity, anti-gravity material, interesting ideas being brought out by western researchers would have found more relevance.  It is to be widely appreciated that aviation today is not only a science of structure and aerodynamic phenomena but equally or more prominently contributed by associated sciences in systems such as optics, guidance, navigation, tactical and strategic concepts being developed not under one roof but being integrated out of deliveries from discreet sources of technologies. As seen by this review team, our study team also identified two essential aspects corrupting the understanding of the readers.  They are usage of unstandardised units of measurement such as those relating to speed, length, resistance, force, heat and so on adding enough confusion.  Secondly the drawings of the vimanas and its components drawn by local draughtsman under instructions from Sri. Shastriji seem to have been influenced by his own imagination. Nevertheless, we request I.I.Sc., team to have a relook at the work in the context of adequate validation of other parts of the text in the last two decades.  Their report published in 1974 is appended.  (Appendix – B)


Then on, there seems to be fairly a long gap till late eighties when Dr.Roberto Pinotti a scientist from Italy reminded Indian scientists to take ancient Indian scientific works seriously (with reference to ‘Vymaanika Shastra’). What a paradox! Assuming that he must have made this statement from a serious study of the work, he had extensively noticed features other Indian scientists had missed to note. Dr.Pinotti’s address was not to a casual gathering of orthodox Indians. He was addressing a seminar of International Astronautical Congress in  October 1988. The seminar had been organised by Indian space research organisation at Bangalore.  Extracts of his report is appended. (Appencix – C)


It was the department of chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay that contributed  towards laboratory development of materials like Chumbakamani, Panchadhara-loha and Paragrandhika-drava.  Dr. Maheshwar Sharon’s report throws light on the equivalence of these materials to those developed by modern science during the later part of 20th century.  Relevant extracts of his report are appended as Appndix – F.  However Dr. Sharon has expressed that many of the tests could not be concluded because of limitations of translational skills and decoding.


Next it was Dr. Balachandra Rao’s turn to remark on the work in his book titled ‘Tradition, Science and Society” published in 1988. Dr.Balachandra Rao, a professor of Mathematics at a science college in Bangalore attacks the work, almost lethally.  We request him to review the work in consultation with experts in the field of aviation and related sciences.


Some time in 1988, Dr. David Childres, an eminent scholar from USA, published the first edition of his Book ‘Vimana Aircraft Of Ancient India And Atlantis’. This book has been updated with research information and published every year till 1999.  In this book, he has also chosen to reproduce completely ‘Vymaanika Shastra’ (Joyser’s English version) for the sake of readers. Detailed discussions on propulsion conceptual techniques such as mercury vapour propulsion, thrust vector engines, solar energy employment etc., have been introduced for prospective contemporary thinkers. The book is thought-provoking and makes interesting reading. He has sighted principles and concepts that had evaded conventional Indian scientists.


The next milestone the work ‘Vymanika Shastra’ saw was a kind of miniature revolution set by a group of scientists from Hyderabad starting with a country wide search of ancient Indian scientific literature. During their visit to Bangalore, they obtained copies of some of Sri. Shastry’s works including ‘Vymanika Shastra’ from the author’s descendants. This was in 1991-92, as learnt from the grand children of the pandit. The team from Birla Science Centre, Hydrabad composed of Dr. B.G. Siddarth and Sri. C.S.R. Prabhu.  It appears that out of the ancient works they had gathered in their collection-drive ‘Vymanika Shastra’ prominently struck them and from that they found topics relating to materials suited for their research.  Materials developed in accordance with formulae given in the text validated textual contents.  The brief report is appended Appendix – D


The unique treatise with a highly technical scientific outlook on development of materials and yantras as per ancient scientific formulae is from a task force sponsored by Indian National Science Academy, INSA. The topic, though not directly a part of ‘Vymanika Shastra’, is related to work ‘Anshu Bodhini’ of the common author, Maharshi Baharadwaja. Hence the special mention of this research work made here.  This piece of research is undoubtedly a benchmark in the conduct of researching ancient Indian works. The task force consisted of Dr. Dongre, P.G.College of Varanasi, Dr.P.Ramachandra Rao, Director of National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur and others. We are appendaging their report in full as a part of our study report. We are thankful to them for the valuable co-operation extended to us. Their report relates to development of a novel spectrometer / monochromeater called ‘Dwanta Pramapaka Yantra’ and an Infra-Red transparent material (non-hygroscopic) called ‘Prakasha Stambhana bida’.  Their latest report on this research is as recent as Dec 1999.  A relevent extract is appended as appendix – E.  This is undoubtedly the best report in our literature survey and raised our curiosity into the way technical interpretations are required to be made on works evolved by ‘Scientists’ carried through earlier civilisations.  This aspect needs a positive bent of mind than just ridiculing ancient works with sheer desdain.


The next to appear is Sri. M.K. Kawadkar of Nagpur whose interpretational skills and sixth sense are seen to manifest at their best. He has taken up study of some chapters of ‘Vymanika Shastra’ and brought out fascinating exposures on yantras, atmosphere, in particular ‘Parivesha Kriya Yantra’ discussed in the work interpreted as ‘Auto-pilot/ Auto guidance system’.  His articles published through  ‘Bharatiya Boudhiks Samapda’ a quarterly magazine published from Nagpur are thought-provoking and fall in line with the kind of research-insight vitally needed in studying ancient works of Sanskrit.  More about Sri. Kawadkar's analyses later through his comments.


Distinct commonality with three major contributors viz., B.M. Birla Science Centre, Dr. Dongre’s research report, Sri. M.K. Kawadkar’s Analyses lies in their way of approach in research. They all emphasise that knowledge of Sanskrit and/ or science does not help in understanding of ancient scientific work. In addition to the above aspects what is even more important is the ability to interpret with reference to context. That bit of sixth sense is a vital attribute.


This understanding alone has contributed to their success and rendered purposeful results.  Laboratory development of materials has gone through the following process.


·        Understanding of poetic form of Sanskrit version.

·        Convert to prose form, decode the terms wherever required and arrive at ingredients.

·        Use modern equivalents / substitutes, wherever required.

·        Determine proportions of  mixing

·        Use process details to obtain the materials.


This methodology has worked so well that it must have boosted their confidence as well. Thus a closed mind set in studying such works will lead one nowhere. ‘Birla Science Centre’ report claims such a high level of confidence that they are categorical to state that most of the materials in the text can be obtained through laboratory tests. Extrapolating this logic, if textual contents of one part of this work could gain a high degree of validity there should be no reason why other chapters in the same text should be any different. Adverse reviews of some critics should be questioned under the spotlight of this logic.


One of the most exhaustive studies made on ancient Indian aviation is by Prof. D. K. Kanjilal.  His illustrious work ‘Vimana In Ancient India’ refers to Indian epics, Vedas in great detail and describes usage of vimanas in the prehistoric era.  This work, by itself is a milestone and makes very interesting reading. 


Reports from Aurobindo Ashram, Pondichery hint that research relating to Propulsion Systems & Artificial Intelligence based on Vymanika Shastra are being carriedout. 


In response to its request the study team generated valuable data from inland and overseas sources relating to studies / researches on this text.  The data has gone into our report in some form or the other.  We have reasons to believe that many texts and treatise referred to by preceptors in this work are still available in obscure collections of individuals and libraries.   Perseverance in locating them should yield useful results.












 It is necessary to mention that the study team has mainly referred to “Vymanika Shastra” published in Sanskrit-English by Sri G.R. Josyer.  Hindi version “Bruhad Vimana Shastra” has not been referred to on the basis of the fact that, textual content compared, there is no difference.  The only exception is while referring to researches made by others based on ‘Bruhad Vimana Shastra’.  Fidelity of English translation by Sri G.R, Josyer deserves special appreciation.  It is taken as accurate and correct, barring decoding and interpretation needs.  This is with full regard to him as a Sanskrit scholar of the yester years.


The scope of the study and presentation is confined to the extent of textual material available.  Incompleteness of the text, as observed by many researchers, will be outside the purview of this study.


A significant aspect in the presentation of this report is to dispense with the reproduction of Sanskrit-English version of “Vymanika Shastra”.  It is decided deliberately so in order to avoid a bulky report.  The textual content has been restricted to bare minimum.  However, we are confident that the readers will be able to comprehend what the original text portrayed. 


With the aforesaid Introductory Reference we begin the restructuring, analyses and discussions on the core of the scientific work “Vymanika Shastra”. 


The text in the form presented by the author covers the subject under the following topics.


              1. Definition.                                               2. The pilot.

              3. Aerial Routes                                          4. Airplane parts.

              5. Clothing (for aviators).                            6. Food (for aviators)

        7. Metals and heat absorbing metals.           8. Melting. 

        9. Mirrors.                                                  10. Power.

        11. Yantras or Machinery.                          12. Parts of Yantras.

        13. Varieties of Vimanas:

              Shakuna, Sundara, Rukma and












The word “Vimana” originates from the Sanskrit words Vi-Mana, ‘Vi’ meaning ‘Bird’ and ‘Mana’ meaning ‘like’.  The interpretation will be ‘like bird’.  Owing to similarity with birds, it is named ‘vimana’.  The word ‘andaja’ as related to birds means ‘egg-born’.  The word vimana, though of purely ancient Indian origin, is widely adapted and used by not only writers on this science in India, but also extensively quoted as such by the researchers the world over.  Basis of arriving at this definition is not strange.  Researchers on flying machines from other parts of the world have also looked at flying birds as their origin of inspiration and conceptualisation.  Ancient Indian scientists were no different in their approach.


The interesting feature of Maharshi Bharadwaja’s soothras or rules is that he recalls various definitions of other Acharyas or preceptors.  The table given below elucidates this.


Maharshi Bharadwaja refers to seven acharyas connected with works on aviation science.




   Acharyas name



  Reference to work








 Vimana chandrika


That which can speed on earth, on water and through air, by its own power, like a bird






Vyomaayaana Tantra


As per experts in aeronautical science, that which can fly in air from one place to another.






As per experts one which flies from one country to another, one island to another and one world to another




   Yantra kalpa







  Yaana bindu
















Notable observations:


Besides Maharshi Bhradwaja, several other preceptors were also associated in the field of Aviation studies and researches.  Several works quoted herein deal with this discipline as well.  This observation holds good for all the succeeding topics of the work where several preceptors and their quotations from related works feature.


Definition of ‘vimana’ has been wide and comprehensive ranging from simple flying machines to spacecraft.


Knowledge of this science was not confined to few individuals.  Ancient scientists believed interaction and communication with others in the field and their works


Their keenness to go with open mind and highlight views of other preceptors in the field is self-evident.


Works of the preceptors brought out, evidently at different periods, were available for reference of other contemporary or succeeding scholars.








Vymanika Shastra projects the pilot as a special craftsman whose training and qualitative requirements are specific. He is referred to as ‘Rhahasyagnodhikari’, implying that he is the authorised custodian of the secrets of the vimana and its systems.  The qualitative requirements of training and skills mentioned in the work have strikingly analogous to those prescribed for modern combat pilots.


 The features of the vimana are referred to as secrets, possibly used in a generic sense.  The correct interpretation should be that the pilot is the skilled operator who alone is entitled for the full knowledge of the features provided on the vimana.  Thirty-two such secrets or features have been mentioned.  Very high levels of proficiency and learning have been prescribed for him.  Specific reference to the structural knowledge of the vimana, flying skills including combat manouvres and aerobatics are noticed.   Vymanika shastra quotes the work “Rahasya lahari” and other work by Lallacharya and others.


Special observations: -


Stringent training and operational standards stipulated are in consonance with similar standards prescribed for modern aviators.


It is to be noted that spectacular feats performed by the pilot are included in his skill expectations.  Evidently combat maneuvers are being talked about at the time of verbal narration of the text {before 1918 AD}, when the contemporary military aviation {corresponding to the end of I-world war} was yet to conceive aerobatics and combat maneuvers. 


The pilot talked about in the text is a full-fledged combat pilot capable of engagement in military roles. ‘Rahasya lahari’ and other works by Lallacharya are quoted in this context.


While this work talks of the pilot as a master aviator, Vedas, Epics and Samarangana suthradhara of Bhoja Raja have looked at him in an identical manner. ‘Arthashastra’ of Kautilya (3rd century BC), essentially dealing with political economics, also refers to the pilot as ‘Saubhika’, a term derived from Soubha Vimana featuring at several occasions in Mahabharata and Bhagawata.  The pilot is also referred to, more appropriately, as ‘Aakaasha Yodhah’, a warrior in the sky.  He is even called a ’ fighter in the sky’.  Mahabharata stipulates  at least ten types of aerobatic movements for combatants.










One of the most distinct and attractive essence of Vymanika Shastra is its explanation of certain special operational features provided on Vimanas. Later in this presentation, the features and systems provided to operate the devices are discussed under ‘Yantraadhikaranam’


The secrets or features are : -





















19 . TAARA


























Narration of specific features (32 features) deserves special attention. Hence this part of the report is dedicated specially to these features of the vimanas. Original text is placed under quotes and comments / observations of the team are noted  below each item.


1.      Mantrika. : “As prescribed in ‘Mantradhikaranam’, by invoking the mantras of chhinna masta, Bhairavi, Veginee, Siddanatha, acquire the powers of ghutikaa, paadukaa, visible and invisible and other mantraas with potent herbs and efficacious oils, and Bhuvaneshwaree mantra which confers spiritual and mesmeric powers, to construct aeroplanes, which don’t break, cannot be cut, cannot be burnt, and cannot be destroyed.”


n      By invoking certain identified mantras to obtain spiritual  and mesmeric powers to construct flying machines that cannot be destroyed by any means.


2.      Tantrika. : “ By acquiring Mahaamaaya, shambara, and other taantric powers, to endow the plane with those powers.”


n      By invoking specific tantric powers to endow the vimana with some special powers.


Note: The above two categories as clarified in the later part of ‘Vymanika Shastra’ have no relevance in the current Yuga (a scale to measure the cluster of years representing certain generations of mankind). They are ascribed to the earlier yugas.  For this reason as well as lack of literature on these disciplines  the study team keeps them out of its scope in this present report.


3.      Kritaka. : “ By study of architects like Viswakarma, Chaayaapurusha, Manu, Maya and others, to construct planes of various patterns.”


·        Definition is suggestive of real hardware, without intervention of super natural or extraordinary powers.

  • Applicability of this type of vimana to the current Kaliyuga is dwelt upon later in the work.
  • Quoted authorities on this architectural sciences are noted personalities of epic era.


4.      Antaraala. :  “ In the wind swept atmospheric region of the sky, in the clash at the borders of the mighty currents, an inadvertant plane is likely to be smashed to pieces. But by getting warned of the approach of such danger spots, the plane could be halted and steered with care”


  • Danger faced by the flying machine in certain cross sections of the atmosphere is referred to.  Advance-warning to the pilot on such  zones is discussed. Avoidance action through a detour of such zone forms the special feature.
  • Knowledge of atmosphere and danger zones therein was evidently available leading to the concept of an avoidance technique.
  • Primarily an advance weather warning feature as an on-board system to assist the pilot is under discussion. Perhaps, analogues to weather-warning radar as a flight safety device.


5.      Goodha :  “As explained in ‘Vayutatva prakarana’, by harnessing the powers, yaasaa, prayaasa in the eighth atmospheric layer covering the earth to attract the dark content of the solar ray, and use it to hide the vimana from the enemy”  


  • Concept is one of concealment of  vimana from vision. 
  • ‘Vayutatwa-Prakarana’ is quoted as the reference text.
  • Principle of achieving invisibility or camouflaging of aircraft from enemy is clear. Notably enemy may include enemy aircraft or ground forces. Strategic and tactical roles of the vimana are distinctly conceived.
  • ‘Harnessing the dark content of solar rays’ as a feature is significant.
  • Concept of concealing aircraft from enemy’s vision was evolved in modern military aviation only in the latter part of twentieth century.  Invisibility technique spans from simple camouflaging methods to stealth features to circumvent radar detection.  Here the principle is beyond conventional camouflaging.


6.      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 kriya darpana’ or mirror at the front of the vimana, and by its manipulation to produce a maaya-vimana or camouflaged vimana”


  • Primarily a concept of decoy and / or diversionary technique.
  • Using refection of a glow generated by electrical and wind energies in the atmosphere and manipulating the reflection of the vimana through ViswaKriya Darpana in creating a decoy Vimana is hinted.
  • Obviously suggests use in course of vimana performing strategic and tactical roles to mislead enemy’s air and ground attacks.
  • Could be a concept of creating mirage of vimana as a decoy.


7.      Adrishya. : “According to ‘Shakti tantra’, by means of the Vymarathya Vikarana and other powers in the heart centre of the solar mass, attract the force of the etherial flow in the sky, and mingle it with Balaahaavikarana shakti in the aerial globe, producing thereby a white cover which will make the vimana invisible.”


  • By definition, to produce the effect of a white glow around the vimana by attraction of ethereal flow in the atmosphere and mixing it with the energy in the aerial globe.
  • A cocooning technique to achieve invisibility.
  • Harnessing energy sources in atmosphere for on-board use is interesting.
  • Evidently, strategic and tactical applications in aerial warfare.
  • Refers to specific work “Shakthi tantra”



8.      Paroksha. : “According to ‘Meghotpatti 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 paralysing force is generated, and opposing vimanas are paralysed and put out of action”


  • Principles of formation of clouds referred to as “Meghotpatti-prakarana” indicate the possession of knowledge of science of atmosphere.
  • Derivation of energy from clouds through “Shaktyakarshana yantra” eventually to generate paralysing force and directing this energy against enemy planes.
  • A lethal measure in combat flying in strategic attacks.
  • Could be both in strategic or tactical roles of mission.
  • Used in the event of multiple air attack.
  • Distinctly can be categorised under the concept of Biological warfare.


9.      Aparoksha. : “According to ‘Shakti-tantra’, by projection of the Rohinee beam of light, things in front of the vimana are made visible.”

  • Shakti tantra is referred on the principle underlying this on-board feature.
  • To achieve a kind of visibility in front of the vimana using Rohinee Beam. This may be a special optical beam employed for flying during darkness for the purpose of sighting or landing/take off.
  • Possibilities of this beam not being a conventional light source, but for other applications like radar beam cannot be over ruled.


10.  Sankocha or Contraction. : “As prescribed in the Yantraangopasamhaara section, when the vimana is flying at a speed with fully extended wings and there is danger ahead, turning the seventh switch in the vimana, its parts can be made to contract.”


  • Contraction of the wings of the Vimana while flying at high speed.
  • “YANTRANGOPASAMHAARA” quoted as the guide containing this principle of operation.
  • Evidently a mechanical contrivance provided as an on-board control feature.
  • Could be to gain add-on speed by constricting the profile
  • Concept of  variable geometry swing-wing / flapping-wing configuration is evident.


11.  Vistrita. : “According to ‘Akaashatantra’, when the vimana is in the central air flood in the third and first regions of the sky, by turning the switch in the eleventh section of the plane, it becomes expanded suitably according to ‘Vaalmeeki Ganita”.


  • An inverse function of Sankocha, again with variable geometry configuration of the structure
  • Employed for expansion of wings while flying through certain atmospheric zone as a flight protection measure.
  • ‘Akaasha tantra’ quoted as the guiding text.
  • ‘Vaalmiki ganitha’ is quoted possibly in relation to variable geometry principle.


12.  Viroopa karana. : “As stated in ‘Dhooma prakarana’, by producing the thirty second kind of smoke through the mechanism and charging it with light of the heat waves in the sky and projectiong it through the padmaka chakra tube to the bhyravee oil-smeared Vyroopya-darpana at the top of the vimana, and whirling with 130 second type of speed, a very fierce and terrifying shape of the vimana will emerge, causing utter fright to onlookers.


  • By definition means change of appearance.
  • With combined use of specified smoke and light of the heat wave in the atmosphere, and projecting through Padmaka chakra tube on oil smeared Vyroopya darpana, creating artificial fierce shapes of the vimana.
  • Causing fright among the enemy forces aimed at through this on board system.
  • ‘Dhooma Prakarana’ is the guiding text.
  • Partially a Biological warfare concept to psyche viewers.
  • Use of this feature in strategic and tactical air warfare roles.
  • Fierce shapes produced could as well be to convey coded signals. Each shape denoting a signal.


13.  Roopaantara: “As stated in ‘Tylaprakarana’, by preparing griddhrajihwaa, kumbhinee, and kaakajangha oils and anointing the distorting mirror in the vimana with them, applying to it the nineteenth 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.”


  • By definition means ‘conveying varied appearances’
  • Guiding text is ‘Tylaprakaranam’
  • Application of mixture of specified oils on distorting mirror in the vimana, applying specified smoke and charging with Kuntinee shakthi appearance of special shapes is effected.
  • Changes in the looks of Vimana might be aimed at for use as coded signals to convey  particular status of operation, or  may even convey specific messages to ones own ground forces in the form of operational communication.
  • Though not mentioned as a means to tackle enemy forces, this technique could also be to psyche them with scary shapes and divert their attention.
  • It could also be to escape pinpoint sighting and targeting of the vimana itself by opponent forces.  Hence it seems to include both evasive and communicational roles.
  • Technique is on the lines of colour emission producing aesthetic effects in air shows in modern aviation


14.  Suroopa. : “By attracting the thirteen kind of karaka force mentioned in ‘Karaka prakarana’ applying snow-surcharged air and projecting it on the right side of the vimana and focusing on it the suragha beam, a heavenly damsel bedecked with flowers and jewels will appear to onlookers of the vimana.”


  • Projecting the appearance of a damsel adorned with jewels and flowers
  • Use of Karaka force and snow charged air, projecting it to Pushpinee-pinjuala mirror and focussing a special beam results in creation of such shape
  • ‘Karaka Prakaranam’ is a treatise dealing with this technique
  • Concept possibly intended to convey aesthetically pleasing look on the onlookers (obviously not for enemy’s consumption)
  • Concept is on the lines of Roopantara but appears for employment in friendly territory on tactical role
  • Interesting interpretation of a damsel bedecked with flowers may be intended to announce victory or a favourable status
  • Could be a mode of entertaining own forces
  • The technique is similar to modern air displays.


15.  Jyothirbhaava. : “As stated in ‘Amshubodhinee’, out of Samgnaana and other sixteen digits of the solar glow, by attracting the twelveth to the sixteenth digits and focusing them on the air force in the Mayookha section in the fourth pathway in the sky and similarly by attracting the force of the etherial glow and mingling it with the glow in the seventh layer of air mass and then by projecting both these forces through the five tubes in the vimana on to the section of the guhaa-garbha mirror, a rich glow like the morning glow of the sun will be produced.


  • Meaning refers to rich glow of rising sun.
  • Effect derived from a combination of specified digit of solar glow energy and  air mass of specified sections of atmosphere, etherial glow coupled with Guha garba mirror.
  • Guiding work quoted is “Amshubodhini”. This work also ascribed to Maharshi Bharadwaja, deals all about solar rays and energy harnessing from these rays. This text is referred to many a time in ‘Vymaanika Shastra’
  • Possibly employed as a ‘time-diversionary’ tactic during night aerial battles.  Creating such an effect could be very useful in confusing enemy ground forces and upset their operational movement plans.
  • Employment in strategic role is useful.


16.  Tamomaya. : “As described in ‘Darpana Prakarana’, by means of the dark force mirror, capture the force of darkness, pass it through the Thamo Yantra in the north-west side of the vimana and by turning a switch produce at noon-day the utter darkness of the night of the new-moon.”


  • ‘Tama’ basically means darkness. Tamomaya means Illusory darkness.
  • Employing dark force creating mirror, capture darkness energy and using Tamo yantra to produce total darkness at the brightest part of the day.
  • ‘Darpanaprakarana’ is the guiding text and Tamoyantra is the contraption effecting it.
  • Instant confusion is created in enemy forces, movement of troops could be hampered.
  • Sighting of the Vimaana instantly affected, thus helping a quick escape, possibly one of the best methods of self concealment for a Vimaana.
  • A very useful tool in strategic attacks during daytime.
  • A clever deception tactic in a situation when trapped in the midst of enemy forces and while the Vimana is caught in crisis situation.



17.  Pralaya, : “As described in the magic book of destruction, attract the five kinds of smoke through the tube of the contracting machine in the front part of the vimana and merge it in the cloud-smoke mentioned in ‘Shadgarbha Viveka’. Pushing it by electric force through the five limbed aerial tube, destroy everything as in a catacyclism.”


  • Total anhilation concept.
  • Using five kinds of smoke, merging it with cloud smoke and directing electrical energy to push through five on board naalas create massive destruction of enemy forces.
  • Evidently the most lethal strategic weapon discussed so far.
  • In strategic role, could be even meant as a suicidal action in a desperate situation.
  • In a way, can be termed as a Biological weapon.
  • Guiding text-”Shadgarbha-viveka”.


18.  Vimukha. : “As mentioned in ‘Rig-hridaya’, by projecting the force of Kubera, Vimukha and Vyshawaanara poison powder through the third tube of the roudree mirror and turning the switch of the air mechanism, produce wholesale insensibility and coma.”


  • Using prescribed substances including poisonous materials in conjuction with Roudree mirror bringing about insensibility in enemy forces.
  • Guide qouted is “Righridaya”
  • Unmistakably a Biological weapon.
  • Confirms conceptualization and knowledge of biological weaponry.
  • Deployment of similar weapons like “Sanmohanaastra” to cause such effects as mentioned at a number of occasions in epics such as Mahabharata and Ramayana War episodes.
  • Full strategic role of Vimana to be noted.


19.  Taara. : “By mixing with ethereal force ten parts of air force, seven parts of water force and sixteen parts of solar glow and projecting it by means of the star-faced mirror through the frontal tube of the vimana, the appearance of a star-spangled sky is created.”


  • In combination of ethereal energy, air and water forces and sunglow projecting the resultant light through star faced mirror to obtain the effect.
  • Creation of such effects in combat flying during nights can be useful in both strategic and tactical roles.
  • In strategic role it could be to generate a night sky where artificial dispositions of stars generated could mislead the enemy forces on navigation and movements.
  • In tactical role, the effect is either to create an aesthetic effect or conveying coded signals to friendly troops.


20.  Mahaashabda Vimochana. : “By concentrating the air force in the seven tubes of the vimana and turning the switch, produce, as stated in ‘Shabda Prakaashikaa’ a crescendo of thunderous din, which stuns people and makes them quake with fear and become insensible.”  


  • Using the Air force through multiple naalas of Vimana to produce a thunder sound to unnerve the forces.
  • Analogous to the technique of domination over the enemy troop-locations and causing insensitivity to put them out of action.
  • Biological warfare in strategic application.


21.  Langhana. : “As stated in ‘Vaayu  tattva prakarana’ when crossing from one air stream into another, the vimana faces the baadaba glow of the sun and catches fire.  In order to prevent that, the electric force and air force in the vimana should be conjoined and centred in the life-centre of the vimana, and by turning the switch, the vimana will leap into safety.”


  • Avoidance of Badabda glow of Sun while negotiating from one atmospheric zone to another and using air and electric energy (captive in the Vimana) to provide a leaping force.
  • Essentially a measure to achieve safe flying in specified atmospheric zone.
  • Use of captive energy is interesting.
  • Indications that knowledge of danger zones in atmosphere existed.
  • Guiding text “Vayutatvaprakarana”.


22.  Sarpa-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-zag motion like a serpent.”


  • By combining the use of Dandavaktra and other seven forces of air and solar energy and passing the resultant in zig-zag manner.
  • Clearly an evasion technique to thwart attempts to pinpoint sighting of the Vimana.
  • To evade enemy sighting on detection systems like Dishampati yantra (discussed later).
  • An evasive tactic while on strategic role.


23.  Chaapala. : “On sighting an enemy plane, by turning the switch in the force centre in the middle section of the vimana, a 4,087 revolutions an hour atmospheric wave speed will be generated and shake up the enemy plane.”


  • Using on board energy to impinge shock waves on enemy plane.
  • From the manner explained this is used as a specific weapon to counter enemy plane to cause damage or destruction.
  • Can be in strategic or tactical role.
  • Partly a Biological weapon since shock waves cause serious impact on opponent air crew
  • Could be a useful weapon in close attack roles and in crisis situations.


24.  Sarvatomukha. : “When a formation of enemy planes comes to attack one’s viamana, by turning the switch at the crown of the vimana, make it revolve with agility and face all sides.”


  • To achieve Omni-directional view as enemy planes attack from multiple directions.
  • Essentially a detection system.
  • Concept of multiple aircraft attack in formation is interesting.
  • In the mode of Sarvathomukha the pilot knows his own disposition and status of safety and combat capacity with reference to each attack plane. This will enable him to decide the course of action and type of attack / defence.
  • In combination with Sarpagamana, chaapala, Sankocha, a useful on-board device.



25.  Parashabda Grahaka : “As explained in ‘Sowdaaminee kalaa’ or science of electronics, by means of the sound capturing yantra in the vimana, to hear the talks and sounds in enemy planes flying in the sky .”

  • Using the sound sensing yantra, to intercept intra crew communications from enemy aircraft.

·        Guiding principle is ‘Soudaminee Kala’ ( of Anshubodhinee).

  • Clearly a frequency interception technique
  • ‘Shabdakarsha Yantra’, later discussed among Yantras, is one such yantra though for a different purpose.
  • Concept of devices on the lines of electronic counter measures did exist. Advanced knowledge of communication-interception of frequencies must have prevailed.
  • As a prelude, basic transmitter and receiver devices must have existed.


26.  Roopakarshana. : “By means of the photographic yantra in the vimana to obtain a television view of things inside an enemy plane.”


  • Obtaining view of actions inside an enemy plane.
  • Clearly a counter measure concept in reconnaissance / surveillance role.
  • Means more than mere Photography of inside of vimana. To be useful, has to be relaying pictures penetrating the body of the vimana.
  • Simple aerial photographic systems in reconnaissance role must have preceded this technique.


27.  Kriyaagrahana. : “By turning the key at the bottom of the vimana, 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 seven kinds of solar rays and passing the resultant force into the tube of the Thrisheersha mirror and making the cloth screen face the mirror and switching on the upper key, all the activities going on down below on the ground, will  be projected on the screen.”


  • Use of screen cloth projection, combined use of acids and solar ray, sand using ‘Trisheersha Mirror, all actions going on the ground can be obtained.
  • Trisheersha mirror is possibly to obtain a three dimensional effect.
  • Technique is to obtain a running relay of pictures of ongoing actions on the ground.
  • Clearly a combination of strategic air surveillance possibly to warn the trailing aircraft about ground situation of enemy forces ‘ KRIYA GRAHANA ‘ meaning motion-picture reception could be used for assessing damages inflicted.
  • In a battle role it seems to be for  planning attacks on enemy ground forces.
  • Yantras dealt with later explain the translation of this technique.


28.  Dikpradarshana : “Turning the key at the front of the vimana  Dishaampati yantra will show the direction from which the enemy plane is approaching.”

  • By using a device named Dishampati yantra the direction of approach of enemy aircraft is indicated.
  • A specific yantra later described under yantras is under discussion.
  • Concept seems to be on the lines of early warning radar.
  • Seems to be in a limited sense of direction-finder and not range-finder.
  • This concept, in modern military aviation came around 1935 and used during second world war.


29.  Aakaashaakaara. : “According to ‘Aakaasha-tantra’, by mixing black mica solution with neem and bhoonaaga decoctions and smearing the solution on the outer body of the vimana made of mica plates and exposing to solar rays, the plane will look like the sky and becomes indistinguishable.”


  • By applying black mica and decoction of neem etc. over the body of the vimana, obtain an appearance merging with the colour of the sky and become indistinguishable.
  • A stealth technique limited to the extent of escaping visual detection. An effective detection avoidance system
  • Use of solar ray to achieve this effect is clear.
  • Guide referred to is Aakaasha Tantra.
  • Can be useful only while flying in clear skies.
  • Deception against enemy surveillance



30.  Jalada Roopa. : “Mixing pomegranate juice, bilva or bael oil, copper-salt, kitchen smoke, granthika or gugul liquid, mustard powder and fish scale decoctions and adding sea-shell and rock-salt powder and collecting smoke of the same solution and spreading it with solar heat enveloping the cover, the vimana will have the appearance of a cloud.”


  • Use of Botanical preparations and calcium materials and solar rays for application , a cloud like appearance of vimana is obtained.
  • The concept and technique are similar to that of ‘Aakashakaara ‘ except to achieve cloud-like appearance.

·        Intended to be employed against detection while flying through overcast skies.

  • Useful in strategic roles


31.  Stabdhaka. :  “By projecting apasmaara poison-fume smoke through the tube on the north side on the vimana and discharging it with stambhana-yantra, people in enemy planes will  be made unconscious.”


  • Use of Aapasmara poison fumes and discharging through stambhana yantra to render crew in the enemy planes unconscious.
  • Can be an effective tool both in startegic and tactical roles
  • Clear bio-weapon
  • Specifies only in aerial engagements
  • Aapasmara is one of the deadly poisonous


32.  Karshana. :  “When enemy planes come in strength to destroy one’s vimana, by setting aflame the Jwaalinee shakti in the Vyswamara naala or pipe located at the navel of the plane, and switching the keys of the two wheels to 87 degrees of heat, the burning shakti will envelope the enemy plane and destroy it.”


  • To set fire to attacking enemy planes approaching in numbers
  • Use of ‘Jwalinee Shakti’ through ‘ vyswa maara naala’ is implied
  • An effective defence tool in multiple attack situation.
  • Could be in strategic or tactical roles in crisis situation.







Summmary of observations on 32 special features:


·        Most of the secrets (or features) are based on principle-specific texts, an indication that each principle was broad-based and evolved on scientific perceptions.

·        Strategic/ Tactical / reconnaissance /communication roles of employment for attack/ defence purposes are clear.

·        Many features are safe-flying requirements, many of them relating to atmospheric zone

·        A number of advance warning features are enunciated.

·        Many interesting avoidance features are seen

·        Biological warfare concept is in clear manifestation

·        Utilisation of energy and properties of sunrays, ethereal flow, air and cloud energy are seen.

·        Read in correlation with system- specific yantras under the yantradhikaranam the study will be interesting.










Knowledge on atmosphere is an integral part of aviation science.  This need has evidently been felt by ancient Indian scientists of Vimaana shastra.  An exclusive section, though brief, has been dedicated for discussion on aerial routes and ‘Whirl Pool’ or ‘Aavartaas’. 


Seer shownaka’s classification of five layers of atmosphere is


Rekha patha









Knowledge of this branch of science was mandatory in the training of  the pilot of vimaana.


Air routes at each atmospheric zone running into lakhs of routes and suitability of vimaanas of different lokaas for flight compatibility in atmospheric zones have been covered under the topic.  However it is not very clear as to what are being called aerial routes numbering into several lakhs under each zone mean.  Mention of seven lokas or world is noticed.  As a ground rule, study team has chosen only aspects relating to earth (Bhooloka) and related matters and kept others out of scope of the study.


Dhundinatha and ‘Valmeeki Ganita’ are quoted in support of aerial routes in five zones of atmosphere.


Interesting feature on aavarthas or whir-pools is the correlation stated between the zones of atmosphere and the zones of energy.



     Rekha pathaa                      :  Shaktyaavarta or whirlpool of


     Mandala pathha                  :  Vaataavarta whirl pool of winds.

     Kakshya patha                    :  Kiranavarta whirl pool from 

                                                    Solar rays   

     Shakti patha                        :  Shaktyaavarta or whirl pool of

                                                    Cold Currents.

     Kendra patha                      :  Gharshanaavartha or whirl pool      

                                                    by  collision.                                                                                           


Here it is relevant to bring in interesting analyses made by sri.M.K. Kawadkar, a researcher with incisive interpretational skills.  This is taken from his article in Bharatiya Bouddika Sampada, a quarterly journal from Nagpur.  The exclusive efforts being contributed by their team is laudable. Considering the yeoman service being rendered by their group in the field of unraveling the veil around ancient scriptures, we prefer to reproduce the entire report concerning this topic.

Description of Atmospheric layers in ancient Indian Vimana shastra—By M.K. Kawadkar.


It may be mentioned here that original text of Bharadwaj Muni on Viman Shastra contained 500 rules in eight chapters and 100 adhikaranas.  The currently available copy of the book contains only 40 rules in three chapters and 17 adhikaranas.  This shows the extent of loss of literature. I have selected only one topic for the present study i.e., knowledge of air routes (Description of Atmospheric layers) in ancient Indian Viman Shastra.


Maharshi Bharadwaj summarises this subject in a keyword ‘Panchadnyasch’ and ‘avartashek’ i.e., one must know the five parts of the sky to be able to pilot a flying machine into the skies and turbulence in it.


The secret science as stated in earlier verse is provided here.


= In this text the five eddies are stated.

=With the knowledge of these sciences the technological expertise is measured.

=For the proof two verses are quoted.

=The five eddy concept is as per ‘Shounak’.

=The Rekha and other five routes are described here.

=The five routes are 1. Rekha. 2. Mandal. 3.Kakshya. 4. Shakti and 5. Kendra.




= I sequentially state the air routes, Rekha, Mandal , Kaksha, Shakti, Kendra each one contains different powerful currents.  As a winged projectile gets stalled vertically up words (Baman avashtombhya) it is from 41 @ Horizon to 51 lacks, 9 thousand, 8 hundred by numerical measurement.  This area contains all the routes in which seven types of viman (aircraft) fly Viz., Bhuviman and others


Five different routes are stated here.  The statements of ‘Dhudinath’ are stated here.  ‘Rekha Marga’ is seven crores, three lacks, eight hundred units. ‘Mandal Marg’ is twenty crores eight lacks and two hundred units.  ‘Kaksha Marg’ is two crores, nine lacks, three hundred units, ‘Shakti Path’ is ten crores, one lack, three hundred units, ‘Kendra Mandal’ is thirty lacks, eight thousand, two hundred units.  Thus, from Rekha to Kendra mandals have been stated serially as per ‘Valmiki’s Ganita’ (maths) in these verses.


Now the air traffic practices are stated.  Summary = There are six types of Aeroplanes as for 1] Bhuvaloka. 2] Suvarloka. 3] Maholoka. 4] Janoloka. 5]  Tapoloka and 6] Brahmaloka.  In Rekha Patha from type one to type four can fly in Kakshya Patha from type two to type five can fly in Shakti patha from type one to type six can fly in Kendra patha, from type three to type eleven can fly.  There are air routes stated by experts of Valmiki Ganit and other mathematicians.




These verses are incomplete because nothing has been said about Mandal path.

There is some distortion about “Ekadashantam”.

These sets of verses have ample room for different interpretation.  That the six lokas are above five paths making it total eleven.  I leave it to the readers.


=Thus five air routes have been stated serially.  Now is stated the decision of eddies.  There are many types of eddies, depending upon the path, however, only the five which are important for air routes are described.


=Whenever two currents meet each other the eddies are produced.  Now they are stated serially.  In Rekha path there are eddies which cause power loss, in Mandla there are air turbulence, in kakshya there are radiation eddies, in shakti path there are cold turbulence and in kendra path there are frictional or impact turbulence.  Thus there are five types of turbulences.  The Brahman Granth also confirms that the turbulances are five in number (This Brahman Granth is supposed to lost ) The aeroplanes called as Brahmaloka  vimana.

In the transit zones the high and low temperatures can be erratic.  And these can cause heavy turbulence.  The turbulences are named as Shakti, Vata, Anshu, Shaitya and Gharshana.  It is necessary to know these specifically, because they are obstructions in the air routes.


Relevant abstracts from Marg Nibandha:


A chart showing the comparison between the modern concept of atmosphere and viman shastra of Maharshi Bharadwaj, is shown below:


Chart showing comparative heights of Atmospheric layers between Vimana Shastra and today’s science







Aa pourusheya

Shakthi Kshetra











Total void Great  sink

Magneto Pause



Void Magneto Sphere



Bindu Sankash

Brahma Kshetra

Veda Garbha



Ardha chan-

Drak brahm

Kshetra –ee-ha


Kundli-Brahm -



brahma kshetra


















Van Allen belts (High)












Brahma Kshetra

Ma-haKendra path




Ra-ha Shaktipath





Kaksha patha


Va-ha Mandala-

Path Vathavartha




La-ha rekha path



Sara sari samudra
























Van Allen belt Lower



(Ozone U.V.-Heat)





Mesosphere Extreme  Cold







Stratosphere Clear air

Turbulence Cat jets

 Min Speed = 30M/sec

Tropopause Turbulence

Troposphere High air density





It can be seen from the comparison chart that there is a good amount of agreement between the two. It may be noted that in the modern distribution there are five divisions viz., 1.Troposphere. 2.Stratosphere. 3.Mesosphere. 4. Thermosphere and 5. Van Allen belts and the ancient distribution is also in five belts.


The lowermost Rekha patha matches very well with the Troposphere, along with the Tropopause and the uppermost kendramandal matches very well with the Van Allen belts (lower).  The distribution Shaktipatha matches very well with thermosphere.  Kakshapatha with mesosphere and mandal with stratosphere, differ in their heights.  This is possible because there is a difference of about 2500 years in between and the philosophical segregation also might be different.  It is also likely that the atmosphere itself has under gone a change over this period.


Viman shastra has mentioned ‘Avarta’ as ‘Avarthascha’ which means various currents in the five subdivisions of the atmosphere, which a pilot must know. 


The names of various currents in the five belts are:



        1.Rekha patha – Shaktyavarta

        2. Mandal – Vatavarta

        3. Kaksha – Kiranavarta

        4. Shaktipatha –Shaityavarta

        5. Kendramandal – Gharshanavarta


It is said explicitly that these currents are injurious to the flying machines and can damage and destroy it (shounaka).  The shaktyavarta of rekha patha is probably synonymous with high air density requiring a great amount of power for propulsion.  The vatavarta of mandal are clearly synonymous with the clear air turbulence (CAT) of the stratosphere.  There is some ambiguity about the kiranvarta of kaksha.  The shaityavarta of shaktipatha matches very well with the extreme cold zone of the mesosphere.  The gharshanavarta of kendramandal is supposed to be synonymous with extreme heat of the Thermosphere and if kiranavarta is taken with the radiation belt of the Allen’s then everything matches very well.  The corrected sequence will appear as under.


Rekha patha        Stratosphere       High air density            Shaktyavarta

Mandalpatha       Stratosphere       Clear Air Turbulence  Vatavarta.

Kendra patha      Mesosphere        Extreme cold               Shaitya varta.

Shaktipatha         Thermosphere     Extreme Heat              Gharshanavarta.

Kakshapatha       Van Allen belt     Radiation hazards       Kiranavarta.



Rekha marg – Large number of powerful turbulence are produced due to very high speed and they damage the aeroplane called as Bhulokaviman.


Mandal Marg – There are many high speed powerful air currents and they damage the airplanes of three types as Bhuloka, Svarlok and Maholok.


Kakshya Marg – There are radiation bonds in this region which damage the Jonolok Viman. 


Shakti Marg - Extreme cold zones produce the turbulence in contact with the tracks and they damage the Kheta Vimana (There is difference between “Khet” and  “Khest”  Khet=low grade and Khest=Orbiting ship)


Kendra marg – There are many turbulences, which strikes the planes from many directions, and these damage the aircraft.

Bodhananda develops it further and with appropriate reference from Shounak states that the depth of the sky (with respect to earth’s surface) is divided into five parts – (i) Rekha patha (ii) Mandal (iii) Kaksha (iv) Shakti (v) Kendra.  The bottom of Rekha path is earth’s surface called as ‘Kurma’ and the top of the Kendra is called ‘Varunanta’ i.e., the end of the atmosphere.  Maharshi Sounaka has provided the measure of ‘Kurma’ and ‘Varunanta’ as 41 lacks and 51,09,800 (measurement units have not been specified.)  But since, this measurement is in connection with earth's’surface, it is reasonable to accept that this is the circumference of earth i.e., 24,902 miles or 40,900 K.M. or about 41,000 K.M.approximately.  The kurma of shounaka is one hundred times larger.  Therefore the unit selected by ‘Shounak” appears to be about 10 meters or 32.8 ft.  This is very near to an ancient measure known as ‘Danda’.  Hence, the earth’s diameter = 41,00,000 (Shounaka) divided by pye = 1305070.5 ‘danda’.  For Varunanta, a circumference of 51,09,800 divided by Pye =1626499.8 ‘danda’ is the diameter of outer atmosphere around the earth.  Therefore, the height of the atmosphere above the earth’s surface = (1626499.8 – 1305070.5) divided by 2 = 160714.65 ‘danda’ or 1607 k.m. (shounaka).  This corresponds with the upper Van Allen Belts as per modern science’s estimates.  This is probably the Valmiki Ganit (maths) as referred by Dhundinath.


Now, we can proceed further to evaluate the thickness of various belts of atmospheres.  As stated above the following figures are mentioned for each of the five sub-divisions of the cross section of the atmosphere. 

Here we have to draw a circle


Rekhapath        = 70300800

Mandal           ­  = 220800200

Kaksha             = 20900300

Shaktipath        = 10,0100300

Kendra mandal = 30,08200


Observing the above diagram, it appears that the provided measures are the areas of five air route spaces. 


Rekhapath = 7,03,00800 divided by 41,00,000 = 17.15 & cumulative height 17.15.

Mandal = 22,08,00,200 divided by 41,00,000 = 53.85 & cumulative height 71.00

Kaksha = 2,09,00,300 divided by 41,00,000 = 5.09 & cumulative height 76.09.

Shaktipath = 10,01,00,300 divided by 41,00,000 = 24.39 & cumulative height 100.48.

Kendramandal = 30,08,200 divided by 41,00,000 = 0.73  & cumulative height 101.21.


The circumference of the earth has to be increased progressively as height increases.  However, because last figure 101 is too small with respect to 41,00,000 and also because of approximation this is neglected.

There will be a temptation to take these measures also as ‘Danda’.  However, looking to the fact that the period of Shounaka is about 500 BC. and that of Dhundinath not earlier than 1600 AD.  There is a time gap of about 2100 years.  Therefore, it is highly probable that the units may be totally different.  A comparison with the modern belts of atmospheres shows that these air-routes match very well, if these measures are taken in kilometers.  This is only a matter of coincidence.


It is note worthy that the kendra means a centre and kaksha means outermost layer and thus the correction appears to be valid.


For introducing such correction, the other references will have to be seen (if available).  Such a slip is likely to take place within a span of about 2500 years.

This topic is further elaborated by Lalla.  He has suggested that there are five different types of Vimanas built appropriately for each type of atmosphere.  He has considered ‘Bhuloka Vimana’ for flying in Rekhaptha or Stratosphere, which are damaged if the speed increases beyond a critical value.  Janolok Vimana are those which can go up to the “kaksha”, above which they may be damaged by the radiation’s or “Kiranavarta” of modern Van Allen’s belts and the third type is ‘Brahmlok Vimana’ which can go up to ‘Shaktipath’ where it encounters the extreme cold of ‘Shytyavarta’ and the extreme heat of the ‘Gharshanavarta’ which is mesosphere of the modern concept and these planes are damaged by extreme cold and extreme hot conditions alternatively.  It is also stated that all the three types of planes are damaged by the ‘Vatavarta’ of the Mandalpatha or the CAT currents (modern concept).  One more type stated as ‘Khetayan’ can be damaged in ‘Shaktipatha’ due to ‘Shytyavarta’ i.e., the extreme cold of the mesosphere.  One will have to be very cautious to interpret the work khet as Khet or Khest.  As pointed out in the translation of the appropriate verse Khet means a low quality and Khest may mean any vehicle plying regularly in sky.


As a matter of conclusion, it may be said that this study has not revealed any information not known to modern science.  It has only confirmed that an ancient Indians knew the structure of the atmosphere to a degree of the precision.  This exercise has showed a necessity of learning such techniques as Valmiki Ganit for the interpretation of ancient text, which need a very wide search of source material.  This has shown a need to collect the ancient texts wherever possible.  The engine and power section needs such an enrichment and correction.  This may offer an opportunity for such subsequent articles.


The metallurgical study of viman shsatra also deserves a careful consideration.  This may provide some important clues to the avaition materials.

One more interesting and beneficial study from Vimana Shastra and the associated literature will be a study of toxicity during air flights. The total number of toxic forces, which exist in the atmosphere, is stated as 7,58,00,700 and the same number of nourishing forces.  This is also stated as per  Valmiki Ganita system.  This study was not contemplated for this article.  However, if some reader of this article knows about the source “Visha Nirnaya Adhikara”, he is requested to get in touch with the author.


After the interesting analysis of Sri. M.K. Kawadkar, we resume our discussion on the same topic.


Possession of a comprehensive knowledge on atmospheric science among ancient scientists is substantiated from references to the subject in other ancient works. 


Doubts have been expressed in many quarters, whether ancient Indians did know that the planet earth is spherical and rotates around its axis.  Ancient Greeks and much later Galileo are accredited with this discovery.  Contrary to this belief it is seen that chapter 13 of “Surya-Siddanta” talks of a model of earth in spherical shape with an axial rod driven through and the body rotating around a pivot.  Vymanika Shastra itself in its discussion on ore–bearing crest of the earth, gives the natural conditions of gravitational forces of rotating earth and even other planets contributing into formation of different layers of earth.


Rigveda is quoted to deal with discussion on atmospheric phenomenon such as climate, seasons, rains, clouds, lightening and so on.  Knowledge of different types of cumulus clouds is confirmed to have existed.  Cyclic phenomenon of rain was fully known.  Atharvana Veda cites a particular type of whirlwind as ‘Resma’.  Vishnu purana gives details of lightening in different form.  Lightening is also classified based on its acoustic and electrical characteristics.  A deep knowledge of climatology came from different sources of ancient works, hinting that even many scientists and works dealt with it. 


Briefly narrating knowledge of cloud classification, the cloud not contributing rain was called ‘Avarta’ to the type providing heavy rains ‘Samvartaka’ (corresponding to cumulo-nimbus) and that can not provide little rain was called ‘Puskara’ corresponding to cirrus, clouds causing rains very helpful to crops called ‘Drona’ corresponding strato-cumulous.


Varahamihira gives certain principles formulated by ancient sages Kashyapa, Garga and others for determination of rain fall in an area.  Disposition of planetary positions in Zodiac guided such predictions of rainfall.  Natural phenomenon such as earth quake, eclipses and meteorite fall also contributed in this science of forecast.





Back to Main Index

To HiddenMysteries Internet Book Store

Notice: TGS HiddenMysteries and/or the donor of this material may or may not agree with all the data or conclusions of this data. It is presented here 'as is' for your benefit and research. Material for these pages are sent from around the world. If by chance there is a copyrighted article posted which the author does not want read, email the webmaster and it will be removed. If proper credit for authorship is not noted please email the webmaster for corrections to be posted.