In supplying information about the advancements of Vedic science, the subject of Vedic airplanes, vimanas, is almost in a classification of its own. Some of this information is so amazing that for some people it may border science fiction. Nonetheless, as we uncover and explain it, it provides serious food for thought.
First of all we need to understand that the Vedic conception of universal time is divided into different periods. For example, a period called one day of Brahma is equivalent to 4,320,000,000 of our years on earth. Brahma's night is equally as long and there are 360 of such days and nights in one year of Brahma. Each day of Brahma is divided into one thousand cycles of four yugas, namely Satya-yuga, Treta-yuga, Dvapara-yuga, and finally the Kali-yuga, which is the yuga we are presently experiencing. Satya-yuga lasts 1,728,000 years, and is an age of purity when all residents live very long lives and can be fully developed in spiritual understanding and mystical abilities and remarkable powers. Some of these abilities, or mystic siddhis, include changing one's shape, becoming very large or microscopically small, becoming very heavy or even weightless, securing any desirable thing, becoming free of all desires, or even flying through the sky to wherever one wanted to go on one's own volition. So at that time, the need for mechanical flying machines was not necessary.
As the yugas continued, the purity of the people, along with their mystical abilities, decreased by 25% in each age. The age of Treta-yuga lasts 1,296,000 years. During that age, the minds of humanity became more dense, and the ability for understanding the higher spiritual principles of the Vedic path was also more difficult. Naturally, the ability to fly through the sky by one's own power was lost. After Treta-yuga, Dvapara-yuga lasts 864,000 years, and Kali-yuga lasts 432,000 years, of which 5,000 have now already passed. At the end of Kali-yuga, the age of Satya-yuga starts again and the yugas continue through another cycle. One thousand such cycles is one day of Brahma. Now that we are in Kali-yuga, almost all spiritual understanding disappears, and whatever mystical abilities that remain are almost insignificant.
It is explained that it was not until the beginning of Treta-yuga that the development of vimanas took place. In fact, Lord Brahma, the chief demigod and engineer of the universe, is said to have developed several vimanas for some of the other demigods. These were in various natural shapes that incorporated the use of wings, such as peacocks, eagles, swans, etc. Other vimanas were developed for the wiser human beings by great seers of Vedic knowledge.
In the course of time, there were three basic types of vimanas. In Treta-yuga, men were adept in mantras or potent hymns. Thus, the vimanas of that age were powered by means of knowledge of mantras. In Dvapara-yuga, men had developed considerable knowledge of tantra, or ritual. Thus, the vimanas of Dvapara-yuga were powered by the use of tantric knowledge. In Kali-yuga, knowledge of both mantra and tantra are deficient. Thus, the vimanas of this age are known as kritaka, artificial or mechanical. In this way, there are three main types of vimanas, Vedic airplanes, according to the characteristics of each yuga.
Of these three types, there is listed 25 variations of the mantrika vimanas, 56 variations of the tantrica vimanas, and 25 varieties of the kritakaah vimanas as we find today in Kali-yuga. However, in regard to the shape and construction, there is no difference between any of these vimanas, but only in how they were powered or propelled, which would be by mantras, tantras, or mechanical engines.
The controversial text known as Vimaanika Shastra, said to be by Maharshi Bharadwaja, also describes in detail the construction of what is called the mercury vortex engine. This is no doubt of the same nature as the Vedic Ion engine that is propelled by the use of mercury. Such an engine was built by Shivkar Bapuji Talpade, based on descriptions in the Rig-veda, which he demonstrated in Mumbai (Bombay), India in 1895. I more fully explained this in Chapter Three of this volume. Additional information on the mercury engines used in the vimanas can be found in the ancient Vedic text called the Samarangana Sutradhara. This text also devotes 230 verses to the use of these machines in peace and war. We will not provide the whole description of the mercury vortex engine here, but we will include a short part of William Clendenon's translation of the Samarangana Sutradhara from his 1990 book, Mercury, UFO Messenger of the Gods:
"Inside the circular air frame, place the mercury-engine with its electric/ultrasonic mercury boiler at the bottom center. By means of the power latent in the mercury which sets the driving whirlwind in motion, a man sitting inside may travel a great distance in the sky in a most marvelous manner. Four strong mercury containers must be built into the interior structure. When those have been heated by controlled fire from iron containers, the vimana develops thunder-power through the mercury. At once it becomes like a pearl in the sky."
This provides a most simplistic idea of the potential of the mercury engines. This is one kind of a propulsion mechanism that the vimanas of Kali-yuga may use. Other variations are also described. Not only do these texts contain directions on how to make such engines, but they also have been found to contain flight manuals, aerial routes, procedures for normal and forced landings, instructions regarding the condition of the pilots, clothes to wear while flying, the food to bring and eat, spare parts to have, metals of which the craft needs to be made, power supplies, and so on. Other texts also provide instructions on avoiding enemy craft, how to see and hear what occupants are saying in enemy craft, how to become invisible, and even what tactics to use in case of collisions with birds. Some of these vimanas not only fly in the sky, but can also maneuver on land and fly into the sea and travel under water.
There are many ancient Vedic texts that describe or contain references to these vimanas, including the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Rig-veda, Yajur-veda, Atharva-veda, the Yuktilkalpataru of Bhoja (12th century A.D.), the Mayamatam (attributed to the architect Maya), plus other classic Vedic texts like the Satapathya Brahmana, Markandeya Purana, Vishnu Purana, Bhagavata Purana, the Harivamsa, the Uttararamcarita, the Harsacarita, the Tamil text Jivakacintamani, and others. From the various descriptions in these writings, we find vimanas in many different shapes, including that of long cigars, blimp-like, saucer-shapes, triangular, and even double-decked with portholes and a dome on top of a circular craft. Some are silent, some belch fire and make noise, some have a humming noise, and some disappear completely.
These various descriptions are not unlike the reports of UFOs that are seen today. In fact, David Childress, in his book Vimana Aircraft of Ancient India & Atlantis, provides many reports, both recent and from the last few hundred years, that describe eye witness accounts of encounters with UFOs that are no different in size and shape than those described in these ancient Vedic texts. Plus, when the pilots are seen close up, either fixing their craft or stepping outside to look around, they are human-like, sometimes with a Oriental appearance, in clothes that are relatively modern in style. In other reports, we have read where the craft may have alien type beings on board along with ordinary humans navigating the craft.
Does this mean that these are ancient vimanas that still exist today? Are they stored in some underground caverns somewhere? Or are they simply modern-built, using the ancient designs as described in the Vedic texts? The UFOs that have been seen around the world may not be from some distant galaxy, but may be from a secret human society, or even military installation. However, many of the Vedic texts do describe interplanetary travel. So even if these space machines are from some other planet, they may be using the same principles of propulsion that have already been described in the universal Vedic literature. The answer awaits us.