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Indian Vedic myths tell of ancient pilots flying craft around the world and out of this world. But some think the myths were true, and that modern science has it all wrong.
The presenters of the session are apparently serious in their belief that ancient Indian planes were not only able to travel across the solar system, but also "could move left, right, as well as backwards, unlike modern planes which only fly forward," according to one of the speakers, Captain Anand J Bodas, quoted in the Mumbai Mirror.
It's easy enough to fly around the Internet and find plenty of material from folks who believe we were visited by ancient astronauts or that humans had cracked flight much earlier than 1903. But the Indian Science Congress is not the type of gathering where you would normally find such topics on the agenda. Most of the other sessions are on topics more fitting of a university science setting, such as biodiversity, quantum chemistry or fusion.
The session is tucked into a symposium on "Ancient Sciences Through Sanskrit," with other talks on things like the "Neuroscience of Yoga" or "Scientific Principles of Ancient Indian Architecture and Civil Engineering."
The idea of mixing in a serious talk on ancient Indian astronauts with presentations on more rigorous research and science policy issues at a major science conference has drawn the ire of Dr. Ram Prasad Gandhiraman, a NASA scientist at the agency's Ames research center in California. Gandhiraman has collected hundreds of signatures from other scientists around the world on a petition demanding that the session be cancelled.
"We as scientific community should be seriously concerned about the infiltration of pseudo-science in science curricula with backing of influential political parties," the petition reads. "Giving a scientific platform for a pseudo-science talk is worse than a systematic attack that has been carried out by politically powerful pseudo-science propagandists in the recent past. If we scientists remain passive, we are betraying not only the science, but also our children."
However, Captain Bodas is not without his supporters."If we had chosen Sanskrit professors to talk about the references to aviation technology in Sanskrit literature, which includes information on how to make planes, the dress code and diet of pilots, the seven types of fuel used, people would have dismissed us,” said Professor Gauri Mahulikar, head of Mumbai University’s Sanskrit Department and coordinator for the session “but Captain Bodas is himself a pilot, and his co-presenter, Ameya Jadhav, holds an MTech degree besides an MA in Sanskrit.”Dr S D Sharma, Professor of Aerospace Engineering at IIT-B, also supported the decision to include the lecture in the program for the Science Congress. "I would not dismiss the topic out of hand," he told Mumbai Mirror. "A purely mythological lecture comparing aeroplanes in Sanskrit texts to contemporary ones could be very interesting. However, there should not be any kind of story telling that is not backed by evidence."
originally posted by: Dabrazzo
a reply to: AthlonSavage
even arguably outdoes our contemporary construction
Not that argueble the pyramids dont in any way shape or form outdo contempory construction.
The most important of texts like
Ramayana and Mahabharata make
no mention of the use of aircraft
for travel, military, or war
purposes. The ‘Pushpak Vimana’
of Ramayana, as described
therein, has no flying qualities
except possibly by invocation of
‘mantras’ or ‘tantras’
They are really floating Palaces
Their method of propulsion, she said, was "anti-gravitational" and was based upon a system analogous to that of "laghima," the unknown power of the ego existing in man’s physiological makeup, "a centrifugal force strong enough to counteract all gravitational pull."
According to Hindu Yogis, it is this "laghima" which enables a person to levitate. Dr. Reyna said that on board these machines, which were called "Astras" by the text, the ancient Indians could have sent a detachment of men onto any planet, according to the document, which is thought to be thousands of years old. The manuscripts were also said to reveal the secret of "antima", "the cap of invisibility" and "garima", "how to become as heavy as a mountain of lead."