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Mindblowing vimanas or airplanes of mahabharata
Posted By Sarin on Mar 11, 2015     RSS Feeds     Latest Hinduism news

In preceding articles, we saw the theory on existence of airplanes in ancient India and the earth’s first aircraft ‘Pushpak Vimana’. In this article, I will extend this theory to include scriptural references of airplanes from world’s greatest epic poem Mahabharata.  
Mahabharata is basically a conglomeration of religious teachings, customs, traditions, politics, moral values, history and legends, reflecting the great heritage and heroes of ancient India. There are detailed descriptions on many wars and weapons used in Mahabharata. Anyone reading these precise description of war and weapons used in Mahabharata, would easily get the impression that this is no imagination of any author and the author must have seen these battles and all the weapons used from his own naked eyes. Even though the technology of aircrafts and flying vehicles existed during the era of Mahabharata, normal humans used simple means of travelling like foot, horses, bullock cart, elephants, camels etc.
Wasting no more time, let us straightaway go through some of the verses on airplanes from Mahabharata.

Mercury fueled Vimanas controlled by mindpower
According to Dronaparva of Mahabharata, Vimanas(airplane) were shaped like a sphere and were fueled with mercury. As per the desires of pilot, vimanas moved up, down, back or forth with the speed of wind. There is also a mention of Arjuna being received by extra-terrestrial visitors having super natural powers from another planet named as “Gandharvaloka”. There is also a mention of travel to other planets like Siddhaloka, inhabited by super-natural humans with superior technology, physic powers and sophisticated mechanical weapons.  
Mindblowing vimanas or airplanes of mahabharata
Cover of book on vimana

Spaceships and airport terminals of lord indra
Section XLIII of Vana Parva - Years before the Mahabharata war, during his quest for celestial weapons, Arjuna spent some of his time on lord Indra(surrogate father of arjuna) City ‘Amravati’. He was picked up on airplane like vehicle by Indra's charioteer Matali. In addition to airplanes (Vimanas), there is also a mention of busy airport terminals where hundreds of planes are parked while thousands of others are landing and taking off. Below is the description of this event
“And on this sunlike, divine, wonderful chariot the wise disciple of Kuru flew joyously upward. When becoming invisible to the mortals who walk the earth, he saw wondrous airborne chariots by the thousands.”
"And having beheld those celestial gardens resounding with celestial music, the strong-armed son of Pandu entered the favorite city of Indra. And he beheld there celestial vimanas by thousands, capable of going everywhere at will, stationed in proper places. And he saw tens of thousands of such cars moving in every direction"

Arjuna Vimana destroying space stations of demons
During his stay in heaven, Arjuna assisted his father ‘Indra’ in winning a few battles against the dangerous asuras(Demon). Below is the short story on lord indra’s war against the daityas(demons).
After observing extreme austerities for millenniums of years, a demon woman called Puloma and Demon “Kalaka” were granted the boon of being impregnable against the Devas(Gods), Rakshasas(Demons) and Nagas(Snake race). Using his superior powers, lord brahma arranged a lovely airborne city that could not be attacked by all powerful beings of the universe, including devas (Gods). Hiranyapura was the name of the floating city, stationed in outer space, without depending on any planet or physical medium for support. This city was piled up with gold, diamonds and other precious stones that would even make the devas and yakshas jealous.  
Mindblowing vimanas or airplanes of mahabharata
Floating city- Photo courtesy-
Knowing the treacherous intentions of demons, Lord Brahma left a loophole of excluding humans from the list of living beings that could not attack this airborne city.
Arjuna was half human-half Deva, lord Indra being his surrogate father. He was gifted special celestial weapons by lord Indra to defeat armies of Hiranyapura who were safeguarded by protective benedictions from Lord Brahma.
Below is verse on the same
"And he also gave [unto Arjuna] a car furnished with celestial weapons whose banner bore a large ape . . . And its splendour, like that of the Sun, was so great that no one could gaze at it. It was the very car riding upon which the lord Soma had vanquished the Danavas. Resplendent with beauty, it looked like an evening cloud reflecting the effulgence of the setting Sun."
Below is the verse that describes the ultra-fast airplane of indra that he used for fighting against the daitya.
“Indra’s vimana endued with great effulgence and driven by Matali, came dividing the clouds and illuminating the firmament, filling the entire sky with its roar . . . also propellers furnished with wheels, working with atmospheric expansion, producing sounds loud as the roar of great masses of clouds. . . Indra’s vimana was whisked along with such speed that the eye could scarcely follow.” (Vana Parva, Sec. xlii)  
Arjuna attacked Hiranyapura with powerful arrows that turned into missiles. Below is the verse
"We beheld in the sky what appeared to us to be a mass of scarlet cloud resembling the fierce flames of a blazing fire. From that mass many blazing missiles flashed, and tremendous roars, like the noise of a thousand drums beaten at once. And from it fell many weapons winged with gold and thousands of thunderbolts, with loud explosions, and many hundreds of fiery wheels. Loud became the uproar of falling horses, slain by these missiles, and of mighty elephants struck by the explosions . . . Those terrible Rakshasas had the shape of large mounds stationed in the sky."  
Mindblowing vimanas or airplanes of mahabharata
Arjuna firing powerful arrows that turned into missiles
Escaping from the attack of great Arjun, the space city deserted its position from outer space to take shelter on earth. On earth, space city attempted to stay underwater and underground. No sooner did the space city take off from underground to the outer space again, Arjuna directed a powerful weapon breaking the spacecraft into tiny pieces. Below are the verses that describes Arjuna's fighting experience against the daityas.
"When the Daityas were being slaughtered they again took to their city and, employing their Danava wizardry, flew up into the sky, city and all. I stopped them with a mighty volley of arrows, and blocking their road I halted the Daityas in their course. But because of the boon given them, the Daityas easily held their celestial, divinely effulgent, airborne city, which could move about at will. Now it would go underground, then hover high in the sky, go diagonally with speed, or submerge in the ocean. I assaulted the mobile city, which resembled Amaravati, with many kinds of missiles, overlord of men. Then I subdued both city and Daityas with a mass of arrows, which were sped by divine missiles. Wounded by the iron, straight-traveling arrows I shot off, the Asura city fell broken on the earth, O king. The Asuras, struck by my lightning-fast iron shafts, milled around, O king, prompted by Time. Matali swiftly descended on earth, as in a headlong fall, on our divinely effulgent chariot."  
“Gifted with great energy the Rakshasa once more came down to Earth in his golden vimana . . . when it had landed it looked like a beautifully shaped mound of antimony on the surface of the ground.” (Ghatotrachabadma)
Mindblowing vimanas or airplanes of mahabharata  
Flying vimanas

Eco-Friendly light-emitting airplanes of arjuna
Below is the verse that mentions arjuna being dropped by Indra’s Vimana(aircraft) driven by Pilot Mitali. In this verse, "horses" is an allegory used for engines that emits light. Also look for the phrase "smokeless flaming tongues of fire", which means Vimanas was its first kind of eco-friendly jet engines ever invented on earth.
“And it came to pass that once a day as those mighty charioteers was thinking of Arjuna, seeing Mahendra's vimana, yoked with horses of the effulgence of lightning, arrive all on a sudden, they were delighted. And driven by Matali, that blazing vimana, suddenly illuminating the sky, looked like smokeless flaming tongues of fire, or a mighty meteor embosomed in clouds and seeing before them that vimana driving in which the slayer of Namuchi had annihilated seven phalanxes of Diti's offspring, the magnanimous Parthas went round it. And being highly pleased, they offered excellent worship unto Matali, as unto the lord of the celestials himself. And then the son of the Kuru king duly enquired of him after the health of all the gods. And Matali also greeted them. And having instructed the Parthas even as a father doth his sons, he ascended that incomparable vimana, and returned to the lord of the celestials".

Airplane with entire floating city of shalva
In both the Mahabharata and the Bhagavata Purana, there is a mention of demon king shalva, who with the aid of chief architect Maya Danava, created a huge military airplane with entire floating city. Some of the wonderful qualities of this airplane were
  1)    Special navigation system for seeing at night.
2)    Object detection to avoid Collison when traveling at high speed.
3)    Ability to become invisible and undetectable
4)    Splitting up the airplane into multiple airplanes
    Below is the verse that states the extravagant qualities of Salva flying machines.
“It was a very big machine, almost like a big city, and it could fly so high and at such a great speed that it was almost impossible to see; so there was no question of attacking it. It appeared to be almost covered in darkness, yet the pilot could fly it anywhere and everywhere.”
Salva had many extraordinary airplanes. Another verse states
"The airplanes occupied by Salva were very mysterious. It was so extraordinary that sometimes many airplanes would appear to be in the sky, and sometimes there were apparently none. Sometimes the plane was visible and sometimes not visible, and the warriors of the Yadu dynasty were puzzled about the whereabouts of the peculiar airplane. Sometimes they would see the airplane on the ground, sometimes flying in the sky, sometimes resting on the peak of a hill and sometimes floating on the water. The wonderful airplane flew in the sky like a whirling firebrand - it was not steady even for a moment."
Mindblowing vimanas or airplanes of mahabharata
Fight in air

Rockets and Nuclear missiles
Below verse depicts the firing of rockets and nuclear missiles from airplanes by king shalva
“Gurkha, flying a swift and powerful vimana (fast aircraft) hurled a single projectile (rocket) charged with the power of the Universe (nuclear device). An incandescent column of smoke and flame, as bright as ten thousand suns, rose with all its splendor. It was an unknown weapon, an iron thunderbolt, a gigantic
messenger of death, which reduced to ashes the entire race of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas. The corpses were so burned as to be unrecognizable. Hair and nails fell out; Pottery broke without apparent cause, and the birds turned white....After a few hours all foodstuffs were escape from this fire the soldiers threw themselves in streams to wash themselves and their equipment.” - The Mahabharata
Mindblowing vimanas or airplanes of mahabharata

Airplane attack on lord Krishna by king shalva
There are more than 41 references to Vimanas in Mahabharata out of which the attack on dwaraka deserves special attention. In an aerial flying spacecraft known as Saubha-pura, King Salva attacked Dwaraka with missiles and rockets as he maintained his deep hatred against the yadu dynasty. Below is the verse translation
"The cruel Salva had come mounted on the Saubha chariot that can go anywhere, and from it he killed many valiant Vrishni youths and evilly devastated all city parks.His Saubha clung to the sky at a league’s length...He threw at me rockets, missiles, spears, spikes, battle-axes, three-bladed javelins, flame-throwers, without pausing....The sky...seemed to hold a hundred suns, a hundred moons...and a hundred myriad stars. Neither day nor night could be made out, or the points of compass."
Airplanes destroyed by anti-ballistic missiles and Sudarshan chakra
Fortunately, the Vrishni heroes also had their own aircrafts and once there came a time when Lord Krishna son ‘Pradyumna’ was about to kill shalva with his divine arrow but was stopped by the highest gods with warning “All soldiers on battlefield would have been killed by his arrow”.  Arrow that would kill all soldiers in a battle? Sounds like a nuclear weapon? There are many more verses in Mahabharata that explicitly states the Mahabharata war to be somewhat similar to a modern nuclear war. I will write a separate post on nuclear war of Mahabharata later.
Then as lord Krishna began to attack and launches a weapon similar to antiballistic missiles, Salva landed his aircraft on the high seas and came back with another flying machine to attack lord Krishna. Staying at an altitude of one Krosa (about 4,000 ft), he gave a tough fight to lord Krishna. After a long fight, Salva flying machine was finally destroyed into pieces by the powerful ground-to-air weapon (Sudarshan chakra) fired by lord Krishna. Below is the verse translation
“Krishna, however, wards off Salva's attack with what sounds like antiballistic missiles; I warded them off as they loomed towards me. With my swift-striking shafts, as they flashed through the sky, And I cut them into two or three pieces with mine. There was a great din in the sky above.”-Lord Krishna, Mahabharata
Mindblowing vimanas or airplanes of mahabharata
Vimana of bhima
Arjuna brother Bhima also had his own vimana. Here is the passage about the same:  
"Bhima flew along in his car, resplendent as the sun and loud as thunder . . . The flying chariot shone like a flame in the night sky of summer . . . it swept by like a comet . . . It was if two suns were shining. Then the chariot rose up and all the heavens brightened."  

King Yudhishthira ascend to heaven on vimana

Below are the verses that describe the event after the death of the pandavas. Being left all alone on earth, Yudhishthira was received by aircraft of lord indra. Below are the verses
"Causing the heaven and the earth to be filled by a loud sound, then Indra came to Yudhishthira on a car and asked him to ascend it."
"Seeing his brothers fallen on the earth, King Yudhishthira, the just, said to that deity of a thousand eyes these words: 'My brothers have all dropped down here! They must go with me. Without them by me, I do not wish to go to the celestial region, O lord of all the celestials. The delicate princess Draupadi, deserving of every comfort, should go with us! You should permit this.'
"Indra answered, 'You shall behold your brothers in the celestial region. They have reached it before you. Indeed, you shall see all of them there, with Krishna. Do not give way to grief, O chief of the Bharatas! Having renounced their human bodies they have gone there, O chief of the Bharata race! As for you, it is ordained that you shall go there in this very body of yours.'"
[After a long debate between the two the following occurs.]
"Then Dharma and Indra and the other deities, causing Yudhishthira to ascend on a car, went to the celestial region. Those beings crowned with success and capable of going everywhere at will, rode their respective cars. King Yudhishthira, riding on his car, ascended quickly, causing the entire sky to blaze with his effulgence."
Mindblowing vimanas or airplanes of mahabharata
Yudhistira in conversation with indra

Shining Gold airplanes
below is the verse that mentions aircrafts shining like gold and engines roaring like a thunderous cloud.
"And from all sides in vimanas resplendent as the sun, hosts of Gandharvas and Apsaras began to follow that repressor of foes, the lord of the celestials. And ascending a vimana yoked with steeds, decorated with burnished gold, and roaring like clouds, that king of the celestials, Purandara blazing in beauty came unto the Parthas. And having arrived (at that place), he of a thousand eyes descended from his vimana". -Section CLXV, VANA PARVA, Mahabharata

Some other verses from Mahabharata on Vimana
Below verse states vimana to be equipped with highly powerful weapons that makes the aircraft invincible against the highly advanced devas and dangerous daitya.
"And thereupon that best of cars became still more dazzling with its splendour and was incapable of being looked at by created beings, as the midday sun surrounded by a thousand rays . . . And Achyuta, that tiger among men, riding with the two sons of Pandu upon that celestial car . . . coming out of Girivraja, stopped (for some time) on a level plain outside of town."  
"Vimanas, decked and equipped according to rule, looked like heavenly structures in the sky . . . borne away they looked like highly beautiful flights of birds.

Mindblowing vimanas or airplanes of mahabharata
"The vimanas had all the necessary equipment. It could not be conquered by the gods or demons. And it radiated light and reverberated with a deep rumbling sound. Its beauty captivated the minds of all who beheld it. Visvakarma, the lord of its design and construction, had created it by the power of his austerities, and its outline, like that of the sun, could not be easily delineated.
"And having vanquished his foe, Krishna furnished with weapons and unwounded and accompanied by the kings, came out of Girivraja riding on that celestial car . . . upon that car Krishna now came out of the hill-fort. Possessed of the splendour of heated gold, and decked with rows of jingling bells . . . always slaughtering the foe against whom it was driven, it was the very car riding upon which Indra had slain ninety-nine Asuras of old."
How present yuga lost this ancient technology?
All this technology and highly advanced civilization vanished after the nuclear war of Mahabharata where thousands of valiant warriors from all around the world succumbed to death under the attack of powerful nuclear weapons. People remaining behind did witness the supersonic airplanes, submarines and missiles but didn’t had the cutting edge technology and knowledge to re-invent them and as a result, all the advanced technologies of that yuga never ascended to this yuga.  

Thus, we have seen the verses on missiles, submarines, nuclear weapons, and superior airplanes of Mahabharata that reflects the highly advanced lost civilization of ancient India.  
More articles on airplanes to come. Keep in touch
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