On Dec 17th, 1903, an aircraft thrust into the skies and became the (so-called) first aircraft in human history. Wright Brothers became its inventors. We all greatly adore them today and we teach this fact to our children in schools. But to our surprise, the truth seems to be different.

Eight years before the Wright brother’s aerial show, in India in the year 1895, at Chowpatty beach in Bombay, an aircraft flew in the skies up to 1,500 ft, when a large Indian audience watched this feat. And this performance happened in the august presence of His highness Maharaja of Baroda, Sir Sayaji Rao Gaikwad, and honorable Judge Mahadev Govind Ranade. This event was covered and published by the popular newspaper “Kesari” which was published from Pune.

the inventor of that aircraft was an ordinary Sanskrit scholar named “Siva Kumar Bapuji Talpade” 

The name of this aircraft was “Maruti Shakti”. This aircraft had been built based on the technology mentioned in the Sanskrit Text written by Bharadwaj called “yantra Sarvasvam”. Talpade adopted the technology from the chapters of “Vaimanika shastra” of Bharadwaja’s book. The British Government, after strictly warning the Baroda Maharaja not to fund the project, stalled this experiment. It seems that the experimental remnants of the plan and various working plans had been taken over by the British Government. (Source: Deccan Herald, Tuesday, Dec 16, 2003)

Did our ancestors have much-advanced knowledge about aircraft? If so, what happened to all that?  Why has such advanced knowledge been kept as a secret? What is this Vaimanika Sastra of Bharadwaj? What are its contents? Whether modern scientists did any research on its contents? If so, what are their findings in this regard?

For almost twenty years, many scientists at the Aeronautical Society of India, NASA, Professors, and students of many prominent universities of the world were doing research in their own way on this Vaimanika Sastra of Bharadwaj. They were able to appreciate the advanced level of knowledge about Aeronautics in this article. But much of their research findings are not being revealed to the public.

Bodhananda, a scholar, had written a commentary and explanations to vaimanika shastra of Bharadwaj.

Another scholar called “Subbaraya Sharma” of Mysore had composed a text on aeronautics on Bharadwaj’s Vaimanika Sastra. This book was translated and published by Sir R.S.Jyoser in English. The English version of this article is available today on the website www.sacred-texts.com.

Bharadwaj’s vimana sastra contains,

Eight main chapters- 100 Adhikarnas (sub-chapters),

500 sutras (aphorisms), 3000 slokas, and 32 aeronautical secrets.

In this text, there are references to about 25 existing texts related to Aeronautics (VImana satra).

Drawings are done in 1923 from vimana texts

Among the referred books we find “Shakti Sutram” of Aghasthya, “Saudhamini Kala” written by a scholar named Eswara, “Vayu Tatra Prakarana” of Sakataayana, “VyasanalaTantra” and “Dhuma Prakarnam” written by Narada, “Vasraayaana Tantra” of Saunaka, “Vimana Chandrika” written by Narayana Maharshi, Garga’s “Yantrakalpa”  and “Yanabindu”  written by Vachaspati, etc.

The above texts are referred to by Bharadwaj to define Vimanas, types of Vimanas that are available in various Yugas, qualifications of pilots, dress code of pilots and travelers, food to be consumed while flying, various machines of Vimanas, fuels that are suitable to fly Vimanas, metals and their treatment for building a Vimana, the situations that a pilot had to encounter in the air on the flight and the ways and means of overcoming them, etc.

According to Narayana Maharshi, the Vimana had been defined as a vehicle that travels on land and water and can fly like a bird in the sky.

Referring to Paunaka Mahamuni, sage Bharadwaj says “A vehicle that travels in the sky from one place to another is called a Vimana”.

Bharadwaj had dealt with four types of fuels that can be used by vimanas. They are:

  1. Vanaspati Oil.

  2. Mercury Gas

  3. Solar Energy

  4. Directly consuming power from the air.

Modern aircraft are run by burning hot gases. But recently scientists at NASA had experimented with the techniques of using mercury as mentioned in vimana shastra texts of India and designed mercury vortex engines successfully.

They adopted the technology mentioned in “Samarangana Sutradhara” written by King Bhoja and translated by William Chlorundon into English.

Machines mentioned in Vimana shastra:

  1. Vishwakriya darpanam: This is an effective mirror device, which shows to the pilot the surroundings around the aircraft. Mercury and Mica are used in their preparations.

  2. Parvasha Kriya Tantram: It is a self-propelling device that operates the aircraft.

  3. Tamogarbha Yantra: During aerial fights, this device hides the aircraft from being viewed, a kind of stealth technology. A special alloy called “Tamo garbha” was used in this device.

Scientists at Birla science center, Hyderabad, and IIT Bombay had done research on the metals mentioned in Vimana Texts and could decipher their utility and techniques of making alloys suitable for building aircraft.

The Vimana text mentions the 32 secrets that a pilot should know. The pilot should have expert knowledge. They are like - propelling the flight into the sky, halting the flight in the sky, making suitable somersaults and driving the flight in a jig jag way, suddenly increasing the speed and reducing the speed within the shortest possible time, techniques of protecting the flight when attacked by enemy aircraft during serial fights.

Bharadwaj refers to Sage Saunaka, who had classified the situations that a pilot faces during the flight into five categories.

Types of Vimanas: During the Satya and Treta Yuga, vimanas were called and classified as “Mantrika vimanas”. They were of twenty-five types. They used to work with physical and mystical powers.

During Dwapara Yuga, Vimanas were categorized as “Tantrika Type”. There are 56 varieties of this kind. During Kali Yuga, Vimanas have been named as” Kritika” type. There are 25 varieties of this kind, which are run by machines.

The above classification confirms that the views expressed in Puranas cannot be brushed aside as figs of imagination.

Indian Puranas have many references to vimanas, Rakshasas called “Tripurasur” had aerial cities, which used to fly in air and travel on earth and water. When they were torturing people, Lord Shiva eliminated them.

In the Ramayana, Sage Valmiki had wonderfully described the “Pushpaka Vimana”. The description resembles an aerial city that can move. Ravana captured this Vimana from Kubera.

In Bhagavatam, there is a mention of an aerial attack by Shishupala’s friend Salva on Krishna’s Dwaraka. His space vehicle was called a Soubha and was made of Iron. It had the techniques of appearing and disappearing in the sky after an attack. It can thrust out many aircraft from itself. It was not just an aircraft or Vimana. It can be called an aerial city. Lord Krishna after waging a fierce battle destroyed that space vehicle. Vyasa, the writer of Bhagavatam goes at length to explain the power and functions of his space vehicle used by Salva against Krishna.

In the same text Bhagavatham, Kapila’s parents, sage Kapartha, and devahuthi go for interstellar travel in a Vimana.

While discussing administrative principles, Kautilya’s Artha sastra refers to the importance, due recognition, and respect that had to be given to pilots by the Government. Kautilya called the pilots as “Saubhikas” and persons who were involved in aerial battles as “Aakasa Yodhas”

Recently the Chinese government had handed over the Sanskrit manuscripts that were discovered in the Tibetian region to professor Rutherana or Chandigarh University to decipher the contents. These manuscripts contain information about interstellar travel and anti-gravitational flights (laghima). This only confirms the height of Indian Aeronautical excellence achieved ages ago.



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