Astras and Vimanas: Weapons of Mass Destruction and Flying Ships of Ancient India

Astras and Vimanas: Weapons of Mass Destruction and Flying Ships of Ancient India

Astras and Vimanas: Weapons of Mass Destruction and Flying Ships of Ancient IndiaOne of the oldest cultures in the world is that of India, where it is estimated that the first human settlements appeared in the Indus Valley at least 9,000 years ago. actually about 3,000 years ago. C. Both Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, two important cities, were already present.Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism are four of the major religions that originated in India. The Vedic period, which laid the foundations of Hinduism, began after the highly probable ARIA invasion (1000-500 BCE). With over 900 million adherents, Hinduism ranks third among all world religions in terms of numbers, behind only Christianity and Islam. It is considered as a compilation of metaphysics, religion, various cults, customs and rituals that make up a tradition in which there are no differentiated dogmas or a clear dominant institution. A synthesis of the beliefs of various ethnic groups from various places who settled in the Ganges river basin and recorded as revelations in various Vedic scriptures and other holy books.

The four “Vedas” (literally, “knowledge”) are the main sacred writings of this religion. However, Hinduism also has a host of other sacred texts, such as the “Smiriti” (“the remembered, the triad”). The Ramayana, an epic tale of the god-king Rama, and the Mahabharata, an epic poem, are two of the latter that we will focus on. There are two texts where the Vimanas and Astras are extensively discussed, mainly in the Ramayana.

Vimanas: The flying ships of ancient India

The resplendent Pushpaka Vimana, principal vimana of the Ramayana, soaring through the skies above the Indian Ocean. On the right you can see the island of Lanka, today Sri Lanka, linked by a bridge to the Indian subcontinent (below)

The magnificent Pushpaka Vimana, the main vimana of the Ramayana, towers over the Indian Ocean. The Indian subcontinent (below) is connected by a bridge to the island of Lanka, or Sri Lanka as it is known today.

Throughout the history of humanity, numerous stories have been told about strange planes that flew through the sky and transported gods or even humans. Examples abound, including the flying carpets of Arabia, the fiery chariot that takes Elijah to heaven in the Bible, and ships that look like bubbles or pearls and can carry people at unimaginable speeds that are mentioned in the Canchur (an ancient Tibetan book ). , a thousand years of which it has been deciphered). minimum portion). The mythical flying machines called Vimanas are the ones mentioned in early Hindu literature.

These ships, which were used in warfare between gods, humans, and other mythological beings, are mentioned in a large number of sources. They are frequently described as coming in a variety of sizes and shapes. They can take the form of luminous spheres, chariots or chariots of the gods, mythical air cars, seats or thrones that move independently and carry their occupant through the air, or even dwellings, palaces or cities that can house large populations of people. people. For example, the Ramayana describes them as follows:.

The Vimanas, which were shaped like spheres and floated in the air, generated a powerful wind. Because the driver of the Vimana could fly up and down, forward or backward at will, the men on board could travel great distances in a surprisingly short period of time.

Artist's recreation of the flying island of "Laputa" that appeared in "Gulliver's Travels": a modern Vimana.

Artist’s recreation of the flying island of “Laputa” that appeared in “Gulliver’s Travels”: a modern Vimana.

These “flying machines” were built from a variety of materials, including metal, wood, mirrors, copper, and magnets. They would have mercury vortex engines or a variant of them. The flying island of “Laputa” is an illustration of a Vimana that is much more modern and unrelated to Hindu culture. In “Gulliver’s Travels,” a fictional book by Jonathan Swift, the island of Laputa is described as being man-made and having the incredible ability to fly. Laputa was suspended in the air by a massive magnet and had a base made of diamonds. Its inhabitants could control this organic device in any way.

The four main classes of Vimanas, rukma, tripura, sakuna and sundara, are described in early Indian writings. These were then separated into 113 additional subclasses. Indestructible flying machines with night vision technology, invisibility capabilities, and the ability to record the sounds and images of other enemy aircraft are mentioned in ancient Hindu literature. We can also find instructions on how to maneuver them and how to use their fuel correctly in the Samarangana-Sutradhara as well as information on their speeds, technical specifications and designs. In contrast, The Ramayana continues:

You can build a temple-sized vimana using these techniques. Inside there should be four mercury tanks. The vimana acquires thunder power by means of mercury when heated with a controlled fire. When mercury is added to this iron engine with properly welded joints and the fire is directed upwards, it quickly becomes a pearl in the sky and acquires tremendous power, roaring like a lion. The body should be made of a lightweight material so that it is strong and durable, like a large flying bird. The mercury engine and its iron heating element must be placed indoors. A man sitting inside the whirlwind can travel a great distance in the sky in the most amazing way thanks to the hidden power in the mercury that spins the whirlwind’s impeller. ”.

Rama returns to Ayodhya and is cheered by his subjects. In this old illustration from the Ramayana, the Pushpaka Vimana appears three times: twice in mid-flight (above) and once after landing, lower right.

When Rama returns to Ayodhya, his people welcome him. The Pushpaka Vimana appears three times in this ancient Ramayana illustration, twice in mid-flight (top) and once when he has landed (bottom right).

The Ramayana (“Rama’s Journey”) describes the exploits of Rama, a manifestation of the human protector god Vishnu. It is attributed to the Hindu sage Valmiki, who must have written it sometime in the 3rd century BC. It is written in Sanskrit and contains 24,000 verses divided into 7 volumes. It tells the story of Rama’s brave fight against the Asuras, power-hungry demonic beings who aspired to rule the world and resembled the Nephilim depicted in the Book of Enoch. The Devas, benevolent deities whose name derives from the Proto-Indo-European word deiwos, an adjective meaning “heavenly” or “shining,” stood before them. «.

The Astras: The Gods’ Weapons of Mass Destruction

The astras were divine weapons wielded by a particular deity. It needed an invocation or mantra to be invoked or used, although for some Astras, just knowing the mantra was not enough; one had to receive the gift from the deity who gave it to him. Each Astra had specific usage guidelines, and breaking them could be fatal. Their knowledge was transmitted exclusively orally from teacher to disciple due to the great power of these weapons.


The Astras are used in epic battles by archers like Rama, Karna and Bhisma in both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata where they play an important role. Actually, Rama used the Brahmastra to kill Ravana. There is the possibility that some Astra, such as the Vimanas, were powered by “mercury reservoirs” or very similar liquids that circulated by spinning almost as fast as light.

Illustration from the Mahabharata: Ashwatthama firing the Narayanastra.

Illustration from the Mahabharata: Ashwatthama firing the Narayanastra.

According to their “modus operandi” and individual traits, there are several dozen different Astras. Each main god had an Astra that was endowed with a specific ability. For example, the Devastra, used by the Devas, represented the mythical equivalent of contemporary conventional missiles, while the Asurastra, used by the Asuras, represented the mythical equivalent of contemporary biological missiles. Also mentioned is the mythical counterpart to contemporary nuclear weapons, the terrifying and destructive Brahmastra, a gift from Brahma (the Creator). The Brahmastra was able to end the entire world by himself, as mentioned in the Indian epic sagas.

The battle between the warrior Arjuna, a great hero, and the legions of Asuras is described as follows in the Mahabharata (Vanaparvan, chapters 168-173).

Indra, the lord of heaven, ordered Arjuna to exterminate the entire army of Asura. Fortresses in the depths of the ocean were home to these thirty million demons. Indra, the lord of heaven, gave Arjuna control of his own vimana to accomplish this, with the help of Matali, his skilled attendant. The Asuras caused diluvial rains during the ensuing bitter battle, but Arjuna defeated them with a divine weapon that was able to completely dry up all the water. Arjuna unleashed a deadly missile, smashing the city into a thousand pieces and scattering the pieces on the ground.

Scene from the Mahabharata in which Karna (on the left), a master in handling the Astras, kills Ghatotkacha using the Shakti, a type of astra.

Scene from the Mahabharata in which Karna (on the left), a master in handling the Astras, kills Ghatotkacha using the Shakti, a type of astra.Hindus often believe that the Mahabharata is a true story, and it is probably the longest epic poem in human history. It is believed that it was written in the 3rd century BC. C. although some writers maintain that it dates from the 14th and 15th centuries. C. contains astronomical information, as well as information on a wide range of other subjects, such as politics, religion, and philosophy. Since the Kurus and the Pandavas fought for the throne of Hastinapura, two branches of the same family, the Mahabharata has been known as the “Great Indian War”. This argument is presented throughout the lengthy and complex text. on the well-known battlefield of Kurukshetra, a kingdom in northern India.

The narrative spends a significant amount of time describing the individual battles of the various heroes on both sides, their military formations, the diplomatic aspects of the war, the meetings and speeches between the heroes and the commanders, as well as the weapons they use. and the fighting styles they use. use.

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