BY: SUN STAFF
Apr 29, 2011 CANADA (SUN) The Vedic science of flight – a study in several parts.
Today we begin a new serial study on the ancient Vedic science of flight. We find mention of ancient flying machines known as vimana in many Vedic books of sastra, including Mahabharata and Srimad Bhagavatam, and various descriptive documents have been published in recent years discussing their history and the Vedic science behind their manufacture and operation.
The presentation to follow is one we found particularly interesting. It documents a rigorous study done on the subject of vimana by the Aeronautical Society of India, on behalf of the government's Aeronautics Research and Development Board in New Delhi. The authors of this paper describe in detail their findings on the sastric origins, oral transmission, publications, translations and commentaries of the source document known as Vymanika-sastra.
The paper is presented here and in segments to come with little content omitted, and very minor edits for readability. A number of fascinating illustrations will be shown, as they were presented in the published study.
The reader will find many references from sastra that do not refer directly to vimanas, but rather to technologies that were incorporated into vimanas as well as other machines, weapons and constructions that are described in texts like Mahabharata, Ramayana, Harivamsa, Artha Sastra, Buddhist literature, etc.
Given the rapid increase of interest in Vedic science that is unfolding in the realm of 2012 discussions, we hear more frequent references to Kali yuga, the cycles of annihilation, and ancient technologies, both on earth and in the air, that have their source in the Vedas. In a field of study that is rife with pseudo-scientific speculation, papers like Vymanika Shastra will help to provide some sastric structure for research and discussion.
Among many significant contributions of ancient Indian scientists, Vymanika Shastra is notably a towering work dealing with vimanas and allied topics. Aviation as a subject, wrests its own charm over other disciplines even today. This makes the presence of this work even more glamorous. For a casual reader this work may appear to be a fantasy, for a researcher on first reading, curiosity gets kindled. Successive readings see the cream slowly surfacing commensurate with ones ability to comprehend concepts, tolerance to appreciate the depth of basic researches preceding the technologies and systems of aviation science
It is the firm view of many researchers that mere knowledge of Sanskrit or science or both synthesized plays little role in true understanding of such works. The authors were intelligent to use coded terms, symbolic expressions, archaic language to safeguard knowledge falling to unauthorized sources. For right understanding true flair and that much of extra perception to decode and interpret with reference to context plays the decisive role. This is where many with correct approach succeeded while others failed. This logic remains the same be it a scientific work such as this or Indian philosophy. Both form two sides of the same coin, the coin being ‘Knowledge'. As study of philosophy demands faith, perseverance, genuine insight, ancient Indian science is no different
No one ventures into pronouncing a scientific work unless one has something meaningful to convey. The author, whether he was Maharshi Bharadwaja or Mr. X must have known this too.
The work "Vymanika shastra" is not meant for the biased scientist of the day who prefers to believe what he wants to believe.
It all started on a pleasant winter evening of 1998. During a discourse on renowned epic Mahabharata, the eminent scholar sidestepped to make reference to the existence of vimanas in epic era. He further elaborated to aver the existence of the ancient Indian treatise, Vymanika Shastra, dealing with Aviation science and technology. He indicated that this work had been ascribed to Maharshi Bharadwaja and conveyed to the world, in Sanskrit narration, through Late Pandit Anekal Subbaraya Shastry in the first decade of twentieth century. Not many in the audience had known this before. At the end of the discourse most of them had appreciated what they had heard, but forgot it as well. There were exceptions too. Musing over the interesting revelations, probing started in right earnest. The scholar delivering the lecture had nothing more to contribute. Nevertheless, he was firm on what he had conveyed.
Perseverance led to location of the work in a primitive library and a solitary bookstall in Bangalore. Cleaning the dust-clad copy of the work was not a pleasant experience. A few copies had reached the curious brains long ago, many of them being foreigners. The rest had found their way to the condemned cellar.
Debut reading of the work conveyed mixed feeling of amazement and skepticism. Patient successive readings generated conviction and added interest. The eerie feeling ‘Is it a wild goose chase? however, lingered on for a while. On gathering more information about the work, it was discovered that we were not alone in our pursuit. We had company. Reportedly many had studied the work. Some liked it and others dumped it. Many others not willing to be bystanders, went skin - deep and wrote derogatory reviews. It was not their cup of tea. They had no clue of understanding such works. They trailed from where others moved ahead. Their success was merely in creating roadblocks to genuine researchers.
Scientists with true resolve carried on with incessant efforts. This group included freelance researchers, science laboratories, and scholars. Dedicated topics were taken up for study as specific projects. While freelancers, with their limited resources, came out with impressive results, science laboratories succeeded in fabricating hardware from the treatise as per prescribed formulae. Scholars and scientists from abroad did not lag behind. Vymanika Shastra is quoted by many of them for its relevance in many scientific literatures, particularly in USA. Germans were reported to have bought fifteen copies of the work within a few days of its release in 1973.
Just quoting the summarized findings from a report of Birla Science Centre, Hyderabad, relating to researches on three types of alloys developed by them as described in the textual content of this work, they find:
"As these materials were found to be novel in their compositions and preparations patents have been asked for them. The experimental results in BISR laboratory established the originality and textual description of the materials in "Vimana Shastra". Therefore there is a strong possibility that the large number of descriptions of other new materials described may also yield good experimental results in the laboratory."
The study team found company and enough company too, inland and foreign. What is sighted at the turn of the century appears to be still the tip of the iceberg. There is more and much more the work Vymanika Shastra has to convey, hidden in the potent future.
CHAPTER – 1
VYMANIKA SHASTRA - A BACKGROUND
The work Vymanika Shastra has appeared in twentieth century in Sanskrit transcript form and subsequently translated versions in Hindi and English have been derived. There are different versions with different titles leading to possible confusion among the readers and research scholars. We have therefore devoted some effort to place the facts in the right perspective.
In this process, it is appropriate to commence this topic with the narration front-lined on G.R. Josyer's publication, which reads as follows:
"Maharshi Bharadwaja's Vymanika Shastra or ‘Science of Aeronautics' as revealed to venerable Subbaraya Shastry and recorded in hand written Sanskrit script form, translated to English by G.R. Josyer, M.A [hons] FRES, MRSE."
Four variants with different titles are as follows:
A] Vymanika prakaranam
B] Vymanika shastra
C] Vimana shastra
D] Bruhad Vimana shastra
We clarify here that the base work for all the four versions are common-sourced from the Sanskrit transcript of Pandit Subbaraya Shastry's revelations and recorded by his close associate and Sanskrit scholar, Sri. G. Venkatachala Sharma. They were recorded in 23 exercise books during the period 1903 to1918. Manuscript copies of this were sent as Vymanika Prakaranam to two Oriental Institutes in India. One was sent to Oriental Library at Baroda on 3rd June 1919 and the second sent to Oriental Research Institute, Poona on 19th August 1919. Hence the work has been referred to by many as Vymanika Prakaranam, even though only Sanskrit parts of the published versions carry this title. These exercise books suffered long hibernation. A work called Vymanika shastra in Sanskrit alone seems to have come out from Dayanand Bhavan, Delhi in 1943. This is the second variant.
The third variant is based on the copy of Vymanika prakaranam sent to Baroda Oriental Library. A Hindi translated version of this book titled Brihad Vimana Shastra was edited by Swami Brahma Muni Parivrajak Gurukul Kangdi, Hardwar and published by Sarvadeshika Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, Dayanand Bhavan, New Delhi in the year 1959. In the publication of this Hindi version, the initiative taken by Air Commodore S.N. Goyal of the Indian Air force has been particularly appreciated. Bruhad Vimana Shastra became the reference work for many researchers in North India.
The variant referred to as Vymanika Shastra published in Sanskrit- English languages had its base on the copies sent to the Oriental Libraries in 1919 and something more. The work remained in manuscript form till 1923 and even later. But between 1919 and 1923 there is evidence of ‘add on' textual content to the work in the form of description and diagrams of four types of representative vimanas -- Sundara, Shakuna, Rukma and Tripura vimana. The work of making drawings was entrusted to a draughtsman T.K. Ellappa working in an engineering school. The drawings were prepared by him and appended as approved by Sri Subbaraya Shastry on 2nd December 1923. This is the last occasion that any material went into the Sanskrit transcript.
The transcripts remained in exercise-book-form for the next three decades under the joint custody of Sri Shastriji's adopted son and Sri Venkatachala Sharma. It was in 1952 that the books found the light of the day when they were brought into an exhibition of antique works conducted by International Academy of Sanskrit Research, Mysore. Mr. G. R. Josyer, being the Honorary Director of the Academy showed tremendous initiative. Translation work took a long time and eventually Vymanika Shastra was published on 15th March 1973. This book became the reference work for many in South India and abroad.
A short brochure of about 30 pages was reportedly published by Acharya Charanathirtha Maharaj from Sri Bhuvaneshwari Ayurveda Vidya Peetha, Gondah in Sourastra in September 1952.
Swany Dayananda Sarswathi, a towering scholar of the last century, while referring to flying machines in his commentary on Rig-Veda Bhashya Bhumika, narrates certain aspects of propulsive thrust of vimanas in directional control. This was in 1875.
Another book called Vimana vamanam authored by Nathumal Brahmachari, finds its place in Udaipur palace library.
For practical purposes, only Vymanika Shastra and Bruhad Vimana shastra can be taken as reference, the other titles are only of academic nature. Sri Josyer's publication is taken for reference by the study team.
Going into essential differences between the two variants, apart from English-Hindi translations, Maharshi Bharadwaja's original version extracted from Yantra Sarwaswa contained 500 Sutras (rules), 8 Chapters and 10 Adikaranas. Vymanika Shastra (English version) contains six chapters, 2972 verses. Bruhad vimana shastra contains 40 rules in 3 chapters and 2657 verses.
In substance, Bruhad Vimana Shastra has 315 verses less. This is possibly because of addition of descriptions of 4 vimanas that Vymanika Shastra contains today. This difference will not matter as much as the difference we see from the original work to the transcripted work. The reasons for this could be ascribed to various factors: The period of transcription spanned for over 15 years and the manuscript copies waited in the freezer for 3 to 4 decades. As G. R. Josyer observes ‘The transcripts came in various forms of decay'.
Loss of such literature through pests, quality of paper, loss during transit, change of hands could well be imagined. Further, such works that claimed to be of ancient Indian origin did not find recognition during the British colonial rule facing freedom struggle. It is said that even possession of such literature was considered Anti-British.
The scholars who possessed such works had to keep them concealed. Loss of sheets, obliteration of manuscripts, environmental influences could have taken a heavy toll.
CHAPTER – 2
AUTHORSHIP AND DATING —VYMANIKA SHASTRA
The work Vymanika Shastra has been ascribed to the great sage of ancient India, Maharshi Bharadwaja. From the data available, references related to the work have transited through earlier times of known history. It is also claimed that the work is among forty topics of Yantra Sarwaswa that dealt with ‘All about machines'. It is not a matter of dispute that basic work for translated variants of Vymanika Shastra (English and Hindi) published in the country was originated from Sanskrit manuscript dictated by Pundit Anekal Subbaraya Shastry to a Sanskrit scholar, Sri G Venkatachala Sharma.
There have been doubts and controversies raised in some earlier reviews regarding the authorship and dating. Treatises of this nature where documented records of the past are not available due to various reasons naturally attract such issues. This aspect needs careful and logical scrutiny. This is especially so in the face of some critics having made generalized statements that Indians have a habit of eulogizing the authors and works of such genesis.
Many scientists today look at Mythology [Ed. The term 'mythology' is used here synonymously with 'legend', not as an indication of make-believe] with skepticism and accept only recorded history as gospel truth even if recorded history itself has suffered distortions. They are antagonistic to the belief that Mythology preceded history in civilizations the world over. This is primarily because the links between history and mythology are loose and not conclusively established. Periods of vacuum between mythology and history have compounded the problems in the efforts to bridge the gap. Repeated invasions before and during the Mogul rule, colonial rule under the British put together spanning nearly ten centuries (with occasional breathers of domestic supremacy) contributed a great deal towards suppression and hibernation of ancient Indian works, Scientific, Spiritual and literary.
It is in the backdrop of such observations that this study exercise has probed into the subject of authorship and dating. It is for this reason alone that ‘Background of the work' conforming to recorded data from the genesis of Sanskrit manuscripts conveyed by Pundit Sri Subbaraya Shastry has been separately dealt with in earlier discussion.
Several natural questions do come up in this context.
Who was Maharshi Bharadwaja, ascribed to be the author of this work Vymanika Shastra, supposedly a part of Yantra sarwaswa?
Is this work of Vedic origin? Is it in Vedic language? If not, why so?
Who is Bodhananda that has written Vritti or ‘commentary' on this?
Why did he have to write commentary? What is his role?
What are the scholastic credentials of seer Bharadwaja for being ascribed with the authorship?
Did the textual content culled out from Vedic origin all by himself or others also featured?
Collection of answers to questions of this nature brought out interesting answers both from Mythology and History.
Regarding Maharshi Bharadwaja:
He is known to be a towering scholar both in science, philosophy and warfare. His is an august name in the pantheon of Hindu sages who recorded knowledge in the spiritual, intellectual and scientific fields. During his period, knowledge was transmitted from mouth to mouth and ear to ear.
Maharshi Bharadwaja, according to some scholars, belonged to Thretha Yuga and to Dwapara Yuga by some others, linking him with Dronacharya's ancestry. He is known to belong to the sixth mandala of Rigveda. He has also authored Srauta shastra and smriti work. He figures in the genealogy of Bruhaspati, the principal preceptor of all Hindu deities and his son, being seer Bharadwaja. Bharadwaja's son Dronacharya, again was the preceptor of the Pandavas and Kauravas during Mahabharata era. It should be no surprise that a seer with this background of generation possessed a vast variety of knowledge to author a work such as Yantra Sarwaswa. In this connection, discussions on the subject with a well-known scholar of Bangalore, Dr. V. Prabhanjanacharya spotlight the subject. This is enclosed as an appendix to this chapter, which clarifies many doubts.
Maharshi Bharadwaja transcended from one Yuga to another. He is among the seven prime seers of Mythological era. Whether there were other seers by his name is not known. It is possible that seers succeeding him in his Gothra could have been known by the same name. Nevertheless, he is the only Bharadwaja referred to as one among Maharshis. He has also authored Anshu Bodhini dealing with cosmology, few sections of which are still available. Its reference is made to several topics in Vymanika Shastra. It again features commentary from Bodhananda. The style of Sanskrit in Vymanika shastraand Anshu Bodhini have been studied by Sanskrit scholars for a possible commonality of authorship. Their opinion confirms common authorship.
The introductory part of the subject work clearly avers as follows. Maharshi Bharadwaja's Vymanika shastraor ‘Science of Aeronautics' is a part of his unknown work, Yantra sarwaswa or ‘all about machines'. Here we see no reason why anyone should be attributing the work to him without any gain for himself. No one else down the line has claimed the authorship nor has anyone disputed.
Deliberating on the dating aspect of the work, the data gathered by the study team explains certain crucial issues. The work itself is not a part of the Vedas as is misunderstood by many. Nowhere it is claimed so either. It is claimed to be the essence and offshoot from the principles of Vedic knowledge. It is necessary to understand that Vedas are anaadi, or ‘from-time-immemorial', they had no relationship with time cycle.
The basic structure of the Vedas has remained unaltered, interpretations however could be different. Nevertheless, essence could have been communicated by preceptors at many points of time, in any style of Sanskrit, which could be even in a contemporary structure of the language. It could even be in a different language conveyed to someone distant in any part of the world. Hence, going into the exercise of verifying the number of Vedic Sanskrit words vis-a-vVis medieval or modern Sanskrit language is a tangential approach and serves no useful purpose. In fact, Sri. G.R. Josyer, who was himself an eminent Sanskrit scholar, has paid tributes to the high fidelity of Sanskrit language of the text.
Despite being one of the most knowledgeable seers himself, Maharshi Bharadwaja has chosen to quote lucid definitions, rules or soothras of other sages and preceptors. Bodhananda's commentaries have referred to expressions from these sages and Acharyas and works on related ancient sciences. Brief descriptions of other scientific guides/works in this book have been given in another work of Sri. Madhusudhana Saraswati, Prasthana Thraya.
Discussing the dating of the work, all that can be said with a fair degree of certainty is that the work, being a part of Yantra Sarwaswa featured at several points of time in known History. Science of Aeronautics was in existence even earlier than Bodhananda. Bodhananda chose to write vritti or commentary or explanatory notes on the seer's pronouncements for ease of understanding by the users. This was a traditional treatment given to very many works of philosophy as well. Bodhananda was known to be in 10th century AD according to some research sources.
Confirmation on references to the textual content of the work during the 19th century is discovered by an observation in which Maharshi Dayananda Saraswati had given clarification on the direction of thrust of propulsive devices of Vimanas quoting Rig-Bhashya Bhumika. This was dated to be in 1875. As we notice from that text of Vymanika Shastra, it is a work based on many disciplines of science and technology, described by core researchers of several fields. Each ‘sootra' or ‘rule' contains references to several topics of science or technology. Under the given conditions, there is adequate logic to accept that Yantra Sarwaswa was an offshoot of Vedic knowledge. The Vymanika Shastra came into being in manuscript form between 1903 to 1918 as revelations by Mystic scholar, Anekal Subbaraya Shastry.
While this much of discussion is devoted for protagonists of Vedas, mythology, the seers and the like, let us turn to the antagonistic scholars and scientists who prefer to view the subject of authorship and dating under their self-imposed scientific frame work. If it is appropriate and tenable to go by recorded history and ignore the mythological relationship, let us go by the validation of textual content and correlate with modern science wherever possible. Let not such critics be concerned with Bharadwajas of the distant past.
Life-sketch of Sri Anekal Subbaraya Shastri:
In the chain of relating the work to Pundit Anekal Subbaraya Shastry's revelations, propriety demands deliberations on his life sketch as well as linking his work up to the stage it was printed and published in 1973. This data has been collected from his biographical sketch, his descendants, younger associates of his time and other detailed inquiries during the probe of the study.
An autobiography of Sri Anekal Subraya Shastry was published by Sri M.C. Krishna Swamy Iyengar and Sri Venkatachala Sharma on 12th March 1972. This was an English version; translated by Sri G.V. Sharma based on the narration of Sri Shastriji in his vernacular. From this autobiographic sketch it is evident that Sri Shastriji had committed to Dr Jagdeesh Chandra Bose, an eminent scientist of the yester years, that he would send his biographic script. This has been addressed separately to both Dr. J.C. Bose and Sri Babubhai Iswardas Ichcharam, whom Sri Shastriji had met at Bombay and had close interaction with. Sri Ichcharam, besides being his ardent disciple, had supported him financially too. This biographic sketch, though in minute detail, has an abrupt ending. It covers his life story up to the year 1918. Curiously, this sketch does not include a significant part of a special message conveyed by his godfather, Sri Guruji Maharaj. This special message, however, features in another Biographic sketch (a much-abridged version) also brought out by Sri Krishna Swamy Iyengar.
According to his autobiography Sri Shastriji was born in 1866 AD in a village called Togare Agraharam in Hosur Taluk, Dharmapuri District of Tamil Nadu. He was born as the eldest son in a large orthodox Brahmin family. His father was a learned and benevolent individual who supported many students at home. As his own family grew in size, he found it increasingly difficult to maintain. Eventually he became penniless even when children were still urchins. Sri Shastriji lost his parents early in life and had to bear the brunt of supporting all his younger ones. From then onwards, it is a story of misery and poverty. Soon he had to take up begging. Compounding his travails was his marriage with an eight-year-old girl, his own age being twelve. Fortunately his infant wife had not yet joined him to undergo suffering. It did not take very long for the lot of children to choose the pavements for their living. As though this was not enough, cholera and small pox broke out in the district, killing people in hundreds. Sri Shastriji's family was not spared. All but two brothers fell prey to the deadly epidemic. Eventually it was his turn to invite infection. His body became a home of infectious blisters, puss oozing out. His sight was abhorring. People drove him out. He survived on tender leaves and vegetation around. In short, he felt that the world just discarded him. Left with no option, he sent his brothers away to fend for themselves.
Then came the ultimate decision to call it a day from this world. He kept walking for days and reached a forest near a place called Avani in Kolar District. He lived in the wild, visited often by snakes and tigers. He wondered how he survived in this deadly company, living on vegetation and water for many years.
There is an end for everything and possibly, for his travails too. One day, while he was roaming in the forest, he entered a cave and after some distance he found a vast under-ground enclosure. There, he came across a woman whom he recalls as his dead mother. He was consoled and taken care of for some time and she vanished as mysteriously as she had appeared.
According to Sri Shastriji's life sketch, it was in this underground cave that he sighted Sri. Guruji Maharaj, who bore super human features. Sri Guruji played a significant role in the rest of his life. He took care of him and cured his obnoxious disease with one healing touch. The young lad recovered his normal health.
During this unspecified period of association with Sri Guruji, he learnt a number of rituals, physical sciences or Bhoutika Shastras. Sri Guruji, while precepting Bhautika Shastras had put a stringent condition that his disciple should assure him of protecting these shastras from use for destructive purposes. He had even imposed total restraint on his participation in debates, social gatherings, associations with political parties, etc., Thereafter, Sri. Guruji administered a brilliant light on him, which touched his ‘Saraswati-Nadi'. He started making utterances in Sanskrit, involuntarily.
Then Sri Guruji wrote something on his tongue with a twig. This consummated the process of Divine Enlightenment. This was followed by teaching of Bhoutika shastras. On completion of these rituals, Sri Shastriji felt that Bhautika Shastras were visible and accessible to him. At this juncture, he honestly expresses that till that point of enlightenment in life, he was an illiterate, not having gone to any school nor learnt any language. He was amazed to discover in himself not only the knowledge of – Sanskrit but also to convey Bhoutika Shastras through that medium. In his own admission he reveals that he learnt the alphabets of Kannada and Telugu after his return to his village during the post-enlightenment period. There ended the divine association of Sri. Shastriji and Sri Guruji Maharaj in the wild forest. He was sent back after serene blessings to return to his village and continue his mission in pursuit of propagation of knowledge of Bhautika shastras. Though unwilling to part from the company of Sri. Guruji, he returned to his village with a heavy heart, but with a mission ahead. Strangely, a native Brahmin of a village Malavalli had a premonition that a young lad of a particular description would appear in the village and he should take care of him for two months and let him proceed on his mission.
On completion of his sojourn with the noble Brahmin at Malavalli, Sri. Shastriji left that village again to face the wide world, under more positive circumstances this time. Feeling physically fit, psychologically sound, he decided to go to Hosur. There, he met his surviving brother. A little latter he joined his wife at Anekal and started a family life. Sri Shastriji spent subsequent twenty-five years at Anekal. During this period he had three sons and three daughters. All his sons and one daughter died very young. He moved to Bangalore and stayed in a locality called Cottenpet in the midst of the old city. For some time he remained an unknown individual, but not for long.
The news of his potent knowledge of Bhoutika Shastras had reached many intellectuals. Visitors streamed in to discuss with him. His recitations and pronouncements from Bhautika Shastras impressed many.
The breakthrough in his life came with a visitor from Bombay, Sri. Poonjilal Giridhar, a noted industrialist of Bombay and Ahemdabad. He had come at the instance of one Sri. Babubhai Iswardas Ichcharam, who invited Sri. Shastriji to go over to Bombay. On acceptance of their invitation, elaborate arrangements for a sizeable retinue of Sri Shastriji was made. He received a rousing welcome and was their guest for several months.
A significant meeting at Bombay was with Dr. Talpade who had conducted experiments on constructing aeroplanes. Dr. Talpade consulted him in this matter. It was here that Sri. Shastriji first referred to Sri. Maharshi Bhardwaja's Vymanika Shastra, which he explained to Dr. Talpade. The latter continued his experiments but suffered a serious set back in the progress due to ill health. The project came to a halt on his demise. By then he had conveyed that vimanas were not toys of someone's fancy nor were objects of myth. Possibly this is the first attempt of construction of an aeroplane around 1900 A.D. by an Indian. Unconfirmed reports have talked of Dr. Talpade's successful flying of an aeroplane over Chowpati beach, Mumbai in the last decade of the nineteenth century.
The visitors at Sri Shastriji's flat at Bombay multiplied day by day. They included Philosophers, Scientists, Rulers of erstwhile princely states of India and the elite of Bombay and outside. He thanks Sri Guruji Maharaj for his guidance in answering questions of his visitors and discussions with them. His audience was spell bound by his mystic knowledge. Some called him a walking lexicon, a genius and a super human.
A number of Sri. Shastriji's followers met at Bombay to decide that the treasure of spoken knowledge of Bhoutika Shastras should be scripted by him and published. Sri Babubhai agreed with this proposal and offered to fund the activity. Sri Shastriji agreed to undertake this request but not before he got the consent from his Guru. It is thus seen in his life that before taking any major decisions Sri. Guruji had guided him all along. He agreed to do so on his return to Bangalore.
Sri Shastriji returned to Bangalore after an emotional farewell from a host of his admirers. In the next three years not much of progress could be made in writing of Bhoutika Shastras for various reasons. All through this period Sri Bhabubhai had been regularly funding him. This is where the autobiography being conveyed to Dr. J. C. Bose ends abruptly. In the concluding paragraphs Sri Shastriji recalls his meetings with Dr. Bose at Bombay. From his life sketch it becomes evident that he was a honest and unassuming person. All along he maintained that he was a mere conveyer of the Shastras pronounced through him by divine source.
As an appendage to his biographic sketch, Sri G.V. Sharma had made some interesting remarks. As per this the former had been specially chosen for his Sanskrit knowledge to transcript dictations of the latter's revelations and he associated with him all through his life. Even later he was a joint custodian of his works. Sri Sharma refers to a brief life sketch brought out in January 1911 as a part of Bouthika Kala Nidhi published by Sri B. Suryanarayana Rao, a noted astrologer and a staunch admirer of the pandit. Sri Sharma has also given a list of published works of the pandit which include ‘Anshu Bodhinee', ‘Prasthana Thraya', ‘Bruhad Madhusudana Smriti' ‘Raja Bhakti', Desha Bhakti', ‘Panchagavya Shastra', ‘Jala Tatwa Prakashika', ‘Maha Sankalpa Vichara' etc., espounded by Sri Guruji through the pandit.
Drawing curtains on Sri Shastriji's life-sketch, a few observations seem to be appropriate. Even though he had set forth on a mission to convey Bouthika Shastra for the benefit of mankind, he had an innate feeling of a lost mission. The contemporary political situation in the country must have had adverse impact on propagation of such native scientific knowledge.
The latter part of Sri Shastriji's life found him to be a dejected and disappointed person with an unfulfilled mission. Freedom struggle in the country barricaded his routes to the elite. This legendary person left behind him a treasure of works with his adopted son, Sri Venkatrama Shastri. The surviving members of the family living in an innocuous house in Bangalore hardly know what their illustrious ancestor had left for the intellectual world. It is ironical that his life story makes a pensive reading. He did not live long to see his contribution freezing in cold storage for many decades. It would have been even more agonizing had he stayed long enough to see his work hibernating.
(To be continued…)
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