• Vymanika Shastra is a work of ancient Indian origin, an offshoot of Vedic science.

  • There is enough logic and supporting mythological evidence to indicate that the great seer Maharshi Bharadwaja authored this work.

  • Bodhananda’s commentary and Swami Dayananda Saraswathi’s references to textual content of this work indicate that the subject work featured in the earlier periods of known history.

  • The work manifested for the first time in manuscript form during the end of 19th century and first two decades of 20th century. This was through revelations of Pandit Anekal Subbaraya Shastry and transcripted by Sri. G. Venkatachala Sharma. The last occasion any textual material got into the transcript was not latter than 1923.

  • The transcript did not find recognition till the end of British rule in India. Follow up studies started only later.

  • Studies on literary aspect of the work by several researchers continue even now.

  • Foreign researchers did not show inclination till late seventies. In fact they had shown disdain at the mention of the work. Post–1985 period saw tremendous spurt in their interest.

  • Approach to the study of works of this nature should be altogether different. It needs faith, open mind, genuine interest, decoding ability and interpretational skills.

Military, Aviation and weaponry:

  • ‘Flying’, as a craft, had been perceived by Ancient Indian Scientists. Other civilizations such as China, Greece, Egypt also had the knowledge of aviation technology.

  • Concept and development of aviation technology was quite advanced. A variety of flying machines with application-specific on-board systems had been conceived and developed. In fact, they stretched into full-fledged military applications more than mere mundane air transportation.

  • The concept of ‘pilot’ as a specialist was clear to ancient preceptors. His role as a warrior in the sky reinforces the visualization of a combat pilot. Focus on his stringent training shows the right direction of thinking. Specific dietary and clothing prescriptions further validate the scientific lines on which ancient aviation support was based.

  • Natural vegetation has been harnessed fully for food processing meant for military sector.

  • Besides sage Bharadwaja, other seers of name and fame in mythology such as Goutama, Shounaka, Vashista, Agastya, Atri, Narayana, Lallacharya and many others made in-depth contribution.

  • While some vimanas were role-specific, others were multipurpose

  • The Aviation Environment relating to support systems such as aerodromes, runways, communication and navigational aids, air traffic control etc., seem to be distinctly different from those of modern days. The concept is seen to be on the lines of self-contained flying machines capable of flying independent off ground support aids.

  • Use of energy sources in the environment and on-board to achieve defensive and offensive modes are noticeable.

  • Use of explosives and their detection technology is unmistakably distinct. This indicates the existence of a full-scale technology on explosives.

  • Biological warfare in aerial-combat features at several places.

  • Evasion tactics from enemy aeroplanes, avoidance-options and concealment from enemy-detection constituted special features of Air-Defense Techniques.

  • Offensive strike devices even to the extent of causing catacyclic effects have been discussed.

  • Aerial displays of flying machines, Manoeouvres, Aesthetic and Dominating effects discussed in the text have striking resemblance with modern flight-displays. The year 1918 AD is an interesting benchmark. Coincidentally this year saw the exit of the First World War and it also heralded the completion of the work Vymanika Shastra in written form. The levels of military aviation technologies between the contemporary technology and the textual substance of this work show that ancient Indian science was far ahead of times.

  • It is revealing to compare the levels of aviation technologies that existed at the time of completion of Vymanika Shastra and the First World War, November 1918. Combat aeroplanes were used in sizeable number. All the same, the maximum level of technology in combat aviation can be gauged from the prevailing art of war machinery. Fighter planes with piston engines and propellers flying below 15,000 ft. having twin-gun firing capability were pressed into operation. Speed of the aircraft was just over 150 Mph. Aircraft with long range capability were used for photo-recci and deep strikes. On the other side German aviation technology constituted Bi-Plane bombers of large size, 90 ft. wing span, twin engines of 200 H.P., Bomb loads of 2000 pounds and operating range of 200 miles constituted the front line up.


  • Only after 1952 researches relating to the technical content commenced. A number of groups working on this aspect increased appreciably after 1985. Foreign researchers have focused on topics like mercury vapour propulsion, anti-gravity material development, and mercury as a source of energy and multipurpose application.

  • Knowledge on atmosphere was advanced.

  • Deep knowledge of geological science relating to formation of core metallic ores suitable for aviation application did exist.

  • Many materials and alloys discussed in the text were for exclusive applications. It would be an interesting study to find out whether modern technology offers equivalents.

  • Barring a couple of oblique references, physical and archeological evidence discovered so far, there is no direct evidence to throw light on the existence of vimanas in ancient civilizations the world over. However science and technology discussed in this work amply hints that vimanas did exist. Some of the features and concepts talked about in the text do not appear mere theoretical. They could not have got generated purely by imaginary perceptions.

  • Extrapolating the contents in the work over the untraced mother work (Yantra Sarvasva – ascribed to be an encyclopedia on machines) one has to appreciate the enormity of Knowledge-Base.

  • Over forty scientific texts on various disciplines including aviation, metallurgy, atmosphere, yantras, manis feature in this work. This qualifies the impression that broad-based scientific research in these fields both in pure and applied sciences must have preceded. Successful development of many materials contained in this work at science laboratories in India vindicates the textual substance

  • From the references made to Kriyasaara in this work, it is evident that this treatise dealt with Dynamics of Machinery.

  • Taking into account successful laboratory development of many materials as a means to validate the text, there seems to be enormous potential both for pure and applied sciences in the areas of physics [particularly optics], Chemistry [Organic, In Organic and Bio], Geology, Meteorology etc., to go deep in to the precepts and descriptions featuring in this book.

  • References to a variety of texts like Loha tantra, Loha kalpa etc., it is evident that a comprehensive knowledge on geology, mineralogy, mining and manufacturing processes of metals and alloys existed. The researches conducted so far have been promising and in the right direction. However laboratory experiment conducted till now indicate that only such material involving few ingredients in their composition have been attempted. Other materials involving many ingredients are yet to be taken up. Strange composition in the recipes such as urines of animal origin, snake’s slough, eagle’s eye-balls etc., needs deep research to establish relevance and their role in the manufacturing process. Metals like Thrinetra Loha, Kundodhara Loha should be of great challenge to metallurgists of the day.

  • A grey area needing immediate attention and deep study is regarding units of measurements relating to Length, Temperature, Force, Weight and Volumes. Their modern equivalents need to be established for correct understanding as aid to researchers.


  • Some of the units are:

    • Weight Linka, Mushti, Kankusta and Pala -(equal to four tolas)

    • Volume Drona

    • Electrical current Linka

    • Length Krosha, Danda, Vitasti, Yojana

    • Temperature Kaksya Interpretational equivalence

    • Varies from 2.5° C to 4° C

    • Speed Prenkhana, Linka

    • Time Ghatika (24 minutes)


  • The drawings and diagrams of the vimana need careful study. Possibilities of errors having crept in due to human imagination exist.

  • Laboratory developments have been undertaken by units under CSIR, Birla Science Centre and IIT Mumbai. R&D Laboratories under Ministry of Defense are yet to react.

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  • To explore their intrinsic scientific value, Vymanika Shastra and Anshubhodhini should be taken up for indepth study for the benefit of Defense, Industrial and Commercial applications.

  • Efforts are required to trace and locate texts and guides in this treatise. Yantra Sarvasva, missing parts of Anshubodhini a series of guides on lohas, darpanas, crystals, dravas should be traced.

  • Contents of Metallurgical and Material Sciences of the work should be fully explored by Basic and Applied researches through specific project. Successful development of materials at Science Laboratories should serve as pointers to undertake such activities. Development of Lohas such as Thrinetra, Ghantarava, Thamogarbha, Kundodhara, may prove unique in nature. Similarly study on crystals may open up fresh avenues in Digital Technology. Fabrics, Glues and any other nonmetallic substances (Organic & Inorganic) may offer fresh options to modern technology.

  • Prescribed Food varieties and Clothing should be taken as guide to undertake further research to develop requirements of aviation at research laboratories of defense R&D, CSIR.

  • In the light of our findings that conduct of researches done so far are sporadic and disjointed. There is a need to set up an Integrated Centre to coordinate this effort. The participation of Defense (R&D). CSIR. ISRO, DSP, Science Foundations, is vital to activate research under a common name. The study team is willing to take up this task, if assigned.

  • A host of data related to Ayurveda revealed in this text should be sisted and assigned to scholars in this discipline. Our findings indicate that most of such materials have been confirmed to be available and identifiable even now.

  • A Bank of Sanskrit translators and interpreters should be formed to provide the backbone support to research centers.

  • Free flow of information on Decoded Data, Development Status, Critical Findings should be arranged amongst such centers.

  • Principles of Levity, Anti gravity, Mercury Vapour Propulsion etc., need serious study to be translated in to Technologies

  • AR&DB, Ministry of Defense may respond to study team proposal of a second phase of the project on Vymanika Shastra.

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Project study on “Vymanika Shastra” is a humble attempt to update the views on the work at the turn of the century and therefore called “Vymanika Shastra Rediscovered”. We have taken into consideration various views expressed by Individuals and Group researchers, appreciative as well as adverse. We have made honest effort to bring in reports of Literary and scientific studies, Interpretations, Laboratory tests together with our observations on the topics in the work. We are thankful to all those who contributed into this effort. Their reports form appendages to our main report.

While no direct physical evidence exist today to establish that vimanas did exist in ancient times, literary works and epics aver that they did exist. Nevertheless, there is enough evidence to say that technology of aviation and related sciences did exist. It is not our claim that vimanas can be constructed from the contents of this work. Aeronautics being a complex subject demands extensive base work before an aeroplane is developed even in rudimentary form. What need to be focused upon are the perceptions, precepts, concepts and the supporting technology discussed in this text. It is possible that interpretation of expressions may vary because of inherent nature of Sanskrit. At least one of them has to be right. An integrated effort among all research enthusiasts is vital in the process of deriving tangible benefit to the technological field.

Inspired by the thrill in this study, the Study Team has drawn Objectives for a Second Phase of study with a view to go more deeply into technical content and integrate various researches on a common platform. For this exercise we need the support of the organisations interested in this kind of Research Exercise. Takers may kindly approach us.

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1. Vymanika Shastra - Pronouncements of Maharshi Bhradwaja conveyed through Sri. Anekal Subbaraya Shastry translated into English by Sri. G.R. josyer

2. Sections of Amshu Bodhini by Maharshi Bharadwaja

3. Articles from Issues of Bharatiya Boudhika Sampada.

4. Report from Sri. N.G. Sheth, Bombay.

5. ‘Yantras in Ancient India’ by Dr. V. Raghavan, Indian Institute of Culture 1956.

6. Sections of ‘Samarangana Sootradhara’- Translations from king Bhojaraja’s work.

7. Prasthanatraya – by Swami Madhusoodana Saraswati.

8. Sections of Issues from Indian Journal on History of Science published by Indian National Science Academy.

9. ‘Vimana In Ancient India’—by Professor D.K. Kanjilal.

10. Research reports on Prakasha Stambhana Bhida Loha and Dwantapramapaka Yantra—National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur, 1999.

11. Views from GP. CAPT. M. Matheswaran. V.M., M. Phil.

12. Report from Birla Science Centre, Hyderabad.

13. Report from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

14. Report from Dr. K.H. Krishnamurthy.

15. A news report from Deccan Herald -- an address by Italian scientist Dr. Roberto Pinotti 1988.

16. ‘Critical review’ by Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 1974.

17. “Tradition, Science and Society” by Dr. R. Balachandra Rao, Bangalore.

18. ‘Vimana Aircraft Of Ancient India and Atlantis’ by Mr. David Childress.

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