|Posted by dimodi on October 26, 2012 at 8:10 AM||comments (3)|
The ancient vimanas described in the Vedic and Puranic literature of India are so fabulous in their capabilities and construction, one might, with good reason, wonder if such things were actualities, especially those in particular which seem to savor of daiva (myth). However, good evidence does exist indicating that more modest versions were actually built in ancient times by the aeronautical engineers of India, Mesopotamia, and a few other places. Especially is this true when details of construction, materials used, and theory of operation are given. Propulsion systems are addressed in a deliberately obscure fashion.
A manuscript, composed in Sanskrit by King Bhoja in the 11th Century A.D., deals with techniques of warfare, and in particular with certain types of war machines. The work is called Samarangana Sutradhara, or "Battlefield Commander"(sometimes abbreviated "the Samar"), and the whole of chapter XXXI is devoted to the construction and operation of several kinds of aircraft having various methods of propulsion.
King Bhoja, who used the Sanskrit term yantra more often than the more familiar vimana, claims his knowledge was based on Hindu manuscripts which were ancient even in his time. Some of the techniques of manufacture described therein have been in use by British and American aircraft companies since World War I, and have been found to be sound aeronautical principles even though described nearly a thousand years earlier in this old Sanskrit work. The Sanskrit term vimana is used only once in the following passages, in spite of the proliferation of the term in some English translations I have seen.
In looking over the complete text, it is perfectly clear that several types of aerial machines are being described in some detail. Those described below are limited to the atmosphere; yet some of these machines are said to be capable of flying into the Suryamandala (Solar sphere), and others even of interstellar travel i.e., the Naksatra mandala (stellar sphere). Below is my translation of the 11th century Sanskrit text.
If you think the stories, myths, and claims of the ancient Sanskrit chronicles are nothing more than children's fairy tales? After nearly a thousand years of technical development, the two most advanced nations in the modern world combined their efforts to develop a Vertical-Take-Off/Landing vehicle using the so-called "thrust vectoring" technique similar to that utilized a thousand years ago in India.