Puranic accounts of Air-Chariots
of Kautilya (c. 3rd
century B.C.) mentions amongst various tradesmen and technocrats the
Saubhikas as ' pilots conducting vehicles in the sky'. Saubha was the name
of the aerial flying city of King Harishchandra and the form 'Saubika'
means 'one who flies or knows the art of flying an aerial city.'
Kautilya uses another significant word 'Akasa Yodhinah', which has been
translated as 'persons who are trained to fight from the sky.' The
existence of aerial chariots, in whatever form it might be, was so
well-known that it found a place among the royal edicts of the Emperor
Asoka which were executed during his reign from 256 B.C. - 237 B. C. The
Vaimanika Shastra (Hindi edn) refers to about 97 works and authorities of
yore of which at least 20 works deal with the mechanism of aerial Flying
Machine, but none of these works is now traceable. The Yuktikalpataru of Bhoja includes a reference to aerial cars in verses
48-50 and a manuscript of the work belonging to the Calcutta Sanskrit
College dated at 1870 A.D. We are thus in possession of some manuscript
material and from the above it appears that there were Vimanas or
aircrafts in ancient India and they followed the route over the western
sea i.e. Arabian Sea - Africa - Atlantic ocean - Latin America/Mexico,
this being the shortest route. Some ships also might have followed this
route, but most of the cargo ships, however, had to follow the longer
route over the Pacific ovean via Indonesia - Polynesia - Latin
America/Mexico because of the favorable trade winds and the equatorial
currents which made the navigation easier.
And if the
ancient Indians could perhaps boast of some form of air travel the Nazca
lines of Peru
acquire an added significance. Not only the scriptural
references of aircrafts and the routes of navigation, even some base
landing sites might have possibly been found in the tangled outlines and
figures in the Pampas of Nazca. Maria Reiche, a German scientist, through
her life-long dedication studied these seriously, preserved them from
destruction and publicised them before the world. The huge figures which
are visible from the sky might have helped the ancient pilots (Sauvikas)
of India to land in Peru.
information please refer to Chapters on Pacific,
in Ancient India, Hindu
Scriptures and Seafaring
in Ancient India).
courtesy of The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc. www.krishna.com).
lines of Peru seem to be landing signal for the air chariots of pre-Colobian
times. There are several references in Sanskrit texts about the Indian
Vimanas carrying kings and dignitaries to pataldesa. Ramayana describes
Ravana's flight from Varunalaya (Borneo) to Rasatala (Peru).
D. K. Kanjilal analyses the legend of the Matsya Purana
(chapters 129) in his Vimana in Ancient India
in the following words:
"Behind the veil of
legend and scientific truth comes out that three flying-cities were made
for and were used by the demons. Of these three, one was in a stationary
orbit in the sky, another moving in the sky and one was permanently
stationed in the ground. These were docked like modern spaceships in the
sky at particular time and at fixed latitude/longitudes. Siva's arrow
obviously referred to a blazing missile fired from a flying satellite
specially built for the purpose and the brunt spaceship fell in the Indian
ocean. Vestiges of onetime prosperous civilization destroyed in battles
only flicker through these legends.
These references sharply point
to the use of some kind of aerial flying vehicles known as Vimana apart
from mechanical contrivances, armoured cars, various types of missiles
etc. These references sounding queer and unscientific even in recent past
have been approximated to the present-day technology through the
innovation of highly sophisticated weapons and of the space-satellites
like Mariner, Vostok, Soyuz, Aryabhatta etc. These facts require more than
a passing notice.
The flying vehicles were
firstly designated Ratha (vehicle or carriage) in the Rig Veda.
Vimanas possessed a very high
speed. This aerial vehicle was triangular, large, 3-tier uneven and was
piloted by at least three persons (tribandhura). It has three wheels which
were probably withdrawn during aerial flight. In one verse the chariot is
said to have three columns. It was generally made of anyone of the three
kinds of metals, gold, silver or iron but the metal which usually went
into its make up according to the Vedic text was gold. It looked
beautiful. Long nails or rivets were attached to it. The chariot had three
types of fuel. Possessing very fast speed, it moved like a bird in the sky
soaring towards the Sun and the Moon and used to come down to the earth
with great sound.
(source: The Indians And The Amerindians - By Dr. S.
Chakravarti p.141-146). Also
Refer to Vymanika
Shashtra - Aeronautical Society of India.