IT gives a description of the kind of food suitable for a specific season. The airplanes at that time were a little different from the planes of today. Today, we have airports for the planes to land. At that time, they could land anywhere. Hence, if during a war, they had to land in a forest, then how would the aviators survive? For this, a description of 100 vegetables on which an individual could survive for 2-3 months is given.
Another significant thing that has been said in the Vaimanik Shastra is that a pilot should not fly a plane on an empty stomach. In this context, Shri M.P.Rao of Bangalore says that when pilots of the Indian Air Force would fly fighter planes in the mornings, they would sometimes meet with an accident. An analysis showed that the pilots were flying on an empty stomach. Hence, in 1981, a system of giving breakfast to the pilots started in the Indian Air Force.
The Mechanisms in a plane
The Viman Shastra talks of 31 kinds of machines and their specific places in the plane. The functions of these machines is also described. Description of a few machines is as follows:
1. Vishwa kriya darpan?With this instrument, the pilot could see the activities going on outside from within the plane. Mica, mercury etc. were used to make it.
2. Parivesh kriya yantra?This describes the auto pilot system.
3. Shabdaakarshan yantra?This helped one to hear sounds within a 26-km area and the plane could be saved from accident by hearing the sounds of birds.
4. Guha garbha yantra?This helped in finding explosives under the earth.
5. Shaktyakarshan yantra?This helped in attracting the poisonous rays and converting them into heat and releasing it into the atmosphere.
6. Dishadarshi yantra?Used to show the direction.
7. Vakra prasaaran yantra?Made it possible to turn back the plane immediately if an enemy plane appeared in front suddenly.
8. Apasmaar yantra-?Could emit poisonous gas at the time of war.
9. Tamogarbha yantra?With this, it was possible to hide the plane during war and tamogarbha iron was the main component in its manufacture.
Source of Energy
Sage Bharadwaj mentions four kinds of energy sources needed to fly an aeroplane:
1. Vegetable oil which works like petrol.
2. Mercury vapour?There is mention of its use in the form of energy in the ancient scriptures. The US experimented with it in flying aeroplanes. However, when it went up, it exploded. But it proved that mercury vapour could be used as a source of energy. There is a need for more flawless experimentation.
3. Solar energy?Aeroplanes could fly with this as well.
4. Atmospheric energy?Without any other means, flying the aircraft by using energy taken directly from the atmosphere, like the boat moves when you open the sails, due to the power of the wind. In the same manner, the aircraft in the sky would keep moving by absorbing energy from the atmosphere. Efforts in this direction are on in America. This description shows how extensively scientist in ancient India had thought about the various sources of energy of power.
Type of Aircrafts
Sage of aeronautics have mentioned aircrafts according to the age and the times. The mantrika types, which had a mixture of the physical and the mental powers, were possible in the Satyug and the Tretayug. It has reference to 25 kinds of planes. The tantrika types of aeroplanes were there in the Dwaparyug. There were about 56 types of tantrika. In Kaliyug, the kritika type of machine-driven planes had been described and about 25 types were operational. The important ones in this were Shakun, Rukm, Hunsa, Pushkar, Tripur, etc.
On reading the above description, some problems and questions demand attention. The main problem is that we are acquainted with the vocabulary and rules of modern science, yet, we don'tknow the vocabulary and rules of ancient science, all in Sanskrit, which was steeped in our tradition. Therefore, deep secrets would have to be decoded. Secondly, it was the custom to describe things in indirect, obscure and simileous manner so that the knowledge did not fall into the hands of the wrong person. Hence, to understand that too, the people who know both Sanskrit as well as technology need to make an effort.
(This book is available with Ocean Books (P) Ltd, 4/19 Asaf Ali Road, New Delhi-110 002.)
The main problem is that we are acquainted with the vocabulary and rules of modern science, yet, we don'tknow the vocabulary and rules of ancient science, all in Sanskrit, which was steeped in our tradition.