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 conceptualization. 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.

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