Vymanika Shastra, Part Six


May 14, 2011 — CANADA (SUN) — The Vedic science of flight – a study in several parts.

In our last segment on the Vymanika Sastra, we presented two chapters on the metals, alloys and materials used in the manufacture of these ancient Vedic flying machines, and briefly summarizing another five chapters that were either too technical or redundant to merit presenting in full. Today we begin the final three segments of the manuscript.



This topic deals with power (forces) related to functioning of the vimana in its flight and other operative modes to achieve the desired effects of motion. The manner in which different sages have viewed this aspect makes it thought–provoking.

Yantra-Sarvaswa, of which Vymanika Shastra is a derivative, groups the power into seven categories. Each of them vis-à-vis actuating forces are stated as follows:

    TUNDILA -- Udgama shakti
    PANJARA -- Panjara shakti
    AMSHUPA (SHAKTIPA) – Solar Power Absorption
    APAKARSHAKA -- Absorption of Power from Alien Vimanas
    SAANDHAANIKA – Group of 12 Forces
    DAARPANIKA – Kuntinee shakti
    SHAKTI PRASAVIKA – Main Motive Power

Shounaka sutra is in agreement with the classification of forces as seven. Another guide, Soudaamini kala featuring in Anshu bodini is also in tandem with this manner of grouping, though based on a different theory.

Kriyaa-saara goes further in explaining these forces more understandably as follows:

    Ascent of vimana: Udgama shakti
    Descent of vimana: Panjara shakti
    Solar heat absorption: Shaktyaapa-karshini
    Alien force restraining: Para shakti
    Spectacular motion of the vimana: Vidyutdwadashaka shakti

All the above are stated to be basically from the primary force of the vimana. The twelve activities involved in performing spectacular motions have been separately mentioned as follows:

    Sideways motion
    Anti-clockwise motion
    Performing miscellaneous motions

In yet another classification, the sage Narayana classifies the forces as just five and attributes the forces generated to perform all activities to the power derived from Sadyojaata yantra.

Another work, Sphotayana, holds the view that spectacular motions are achieved by Chittinee shakti. The guide, Kriyaa-saara is also in support of this theory. Other guides, Shaktibeeja and Shaktikoustuba are firm that Panjara shakti generated by Sadyojaata yantra performs all motions and all other forces are incidental to it.

Amidst the numerous views of several sages and texts stated above, Maharshi Bharadwaja analyses and emphatically rules that only seven forces are relevant and distinct, all others are corollaries of these seven forces. Essentially Panjara shakti is the primary motive force.

Observations and discussions:

Sages and texts quoted have some diverse views. This is possibly due to the type of flying machines they had conceived. They seem to have differentiated forces depending on how resolution of force components were done. For example, force required for Udgama, i.e., take off on vertical mode will be one, whereas if it is on normal roller take off, the forces can be resolved in to vertical components and horizontally forward components -- hence it becomes two distinct forces.

Forces required for aerobatic maneuvers have been conceived. An indication that vimana with capability for combat maneuvers have been referred to.

It becomes necessary to understand what type of flying machines are kept in view to arrive at controlling forces required. As we see in modern flying machines, conventional aeroplane, rotary wing machines, vertical take-off and landing machines, hover craft etc., all have different principles of operation. For example, a VTOL aircraft and conventional aircraft are different, a helicopter is different from a conventional aircraft. Achieving zero forward velocity is possible in a VTOL aircraft and helicopter and is not possible in a conventional aircraft. Sideways movement is possible in helicopter and the same is not possible in a conventional fixed wing aircraft. Similarly a glider is distinctly different from other powered aircraft.

It is interesting to see that rolling, yawing, banking, spinning, accelerating, and zero-velocity principles are under mention. Another way of understanding this is with a comparison with modern aeroplane. The engines, though meant for propulsion, generate a number of power sources that are driven by it, e.g., generator to produce captive power, hydraulic and pneumatic pumps for controls of various services, pumps to generate fluid pressure and the like. In such an arrangement these accessories driven by the engine can themselves be viewed as sources of power.

Later in the text under the topic Yantradhikarana there are references that each system had its own source of power drawn from Panjara shakti.

Sadyojaata as a form of power has been introduced briefly by Sri M.K. Kawadkar in his article on atmosphere.


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