Sunday, June 18, 2023

Was An Intact And Functioning Vimana Found In Afghanistan?

sathishramyen  |  Every scholar knows the Vaimanika Shastra, a collection of sketches the core of which is attributed to Bharatvaj the Wise around the 4th century B.C. The writings in the Vaimanika Shastra were rediscovered in 1875. The text deals with the size and the most important parts of the various flying machines. We learn how they steered, what special precautions had to be taken on long flights, how the machines could be protected against violent storms and lightning, how to make a forced landing and even how to switch the drive to solar energy to make the fuel go further. Bharatvaj refers to no fewer than 70 authorities and ten experts of Indian air travel in antiquity!

The description of these machines in old Indian texts are amazingly precise. The difficulty we are faced with today is basically that the texts mention various metals and alloys which we cannot translate. We do not know what our ancestors understood by them. In the Amarangasutradhara five flying machines were originally built for the gods Brahma, Vishnu, Yama, Kuvera and Indra. Later there were some additions.

Four main types of flying Vimanas are described: Rukma, Sundara, Tripura and Sakuna. The Rukma were conical in shape and dyed gold, whereas the Sundata were like rockets and had a silver sheen. The Tripura were three-storeyed and the Sakuna looked like birds. There were 113 subdivisions of these four main types that differed only in minor details. The position and functioning of the solar energy collectors are described in the Vaimanika Shastra. It says that eight tubes had to be made of special glass absorbing the sun’s ray. A whole series of details are listed, some of which we do not understand. The Amaranganasutradhara even explains the drive, the controls and the fuel for the flying machine. It says that quicksilver and ‘Rasa’ were used. Unfortunately we do not yet know what “Rasa’ was.
Ten sections deal with uncannily topical themes such as pilot training, flight paths, the individual parts of flying machines, as well as clothing for pilots and passengers, and the food recommended for long flights. There was much technical detail: the metals used, heat-absorbing metals and their melting point, the propulsion units and various types of flying machines. The information about metals used in construction name three sorts, somala, soundaalika and mourthwika. If they were mixed in the right proportions, the result was 16 kinds of heat-absorbing metals with names like ushnambhara, ushnapaa, raajaamlatrit, etc. which cannot be translated into English. The texts also explained how to clean metals, the acids such as lemon or apple to be used and the correct mixture, the right oils to work with and the correct temperature for them.

Seven types of engine are described with the special functions for which they are suited and the altitudes at which they work best. The catalogue is not short of data about the size of the machines, which had storeys, nor of their suitability for various purposes.

This text is recommended to all who doubt the existence of flying machines in antiquity. The mindless cry that there were no such things would have to fall silent in shame.

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