Ancient Indian literature is teeming with references to flying vehicles, weapons of mass destruction and advanced technology. Modern man calls this
mythology, but according to some, the writers of these ancient epics and documents call it history.
Some consider that by testing the veracity of this literature as history, one will discover that the advanced technology is described in a practical
and empirical sense as opposed to the theoretical or fictional sense. It is also said by some that the information accords to a large degree with
modern scientific principles and technology.
Weapons and technology
In fact, this is not the only reference to technology that resembles our own. There are literally hundreds of references to technology like our own,
and also, that surpasses our own. They fall under two categories, Astras which are weapons and Yantras which are machines.
Types of weapons
- Brahmaastras (Brahma's Weapon)
- Agniastras (Fire Weapon)
- Suryaastra (Sun Weapon)
- Indraastra (Indra's Weapon)
- Narayananastra (Vishnu's Weapon)
- Varunasutra (Water Weapon)
Each astra has its own effects and each evokes the power of the elements it is associated with. The most feared weapons were the Narayanaastra and the
Brahmaastra. They were the equivalent of our weapons of mass destruction.
The Narayanaastra was a thought-seeking weapon, that would destroy anything having the thought which it was programmed to destroy. It is described
being used in the Mahabharata war; as Krishna was familiar with it, he asked his side to all cast down their weapons and surrender to the weapon, so
that it would not affect them.
The Brahmaastra was the most powerful weapon known and was rarely ever used. It contained the power of the universe and it could cause massive
destruction. It could be likened to a modern-day nuclear weapon, in fact, it probably IS a nuclear weapon.
Here is a passage from the Drona Purva describing its use:
"Gurkha, flying a swift and powerful vimana hurled a single projectile charged with the power of the Universe. 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
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 infected... ...to escape from this fire the soldiers threw themselves in streams to wash themselves and their
"Dense arrows of flame, like a great shower, issued forth upon creation, encompassing the enemy... A thick gloom swiftly settled upon the Pandava
hosts. All points of the compass were lost in darkness. Fierce wind began to blow upward, showering dust and gravel.
Birds croaked madly... the very elements seemed disturbed. The earth shook, scorched by the terrible violent heat of this weapon.
Elephants burst into flame and ran to and fro in a frenzy... over a vast area, other animals crumpled to the ground and died. From all points of the
compass the arrows of flame rained continuously and fiercely. "
This description so accurately depicts the use of a nuclear weapon, its effects and the fallout. In fact, the scientist on the Manhattan project who
described the first nuclear test used a verse from this same passage.
Another description of a weapon that echoes modern missile technology appears again during the Mahabharata, in the part relating how the evil Salva is
flying in an invisible vimana around the skies attacking Krishna's army. Krishna then deploys a special fire-weapon that seeks sound and is able to
down Salva's vimana and kill him.
Although no one disputes that the Mahabharata contains descriptions of flight and of very powerful weapons, some believe that modern translations have
been made in a biased fashion to make them sound more like modern technology.
Below is the same passage given above, a description like that of a nuclear explosion, but taken from a translation made circa 1896. It also bears
mentioning that this passage is not in the Drona Parva, and cannot be found there using the search feature at sacred-texts.com but was instead found
in the Mausala Parva.
When the next day came, Samva actually brought forth an iron bolt through which all the individuals in the race of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas
became consumed into ashes. Indeed, for the destruction of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas, Samva brought forth, through that curse, a fierce iron bolt
that looked like a gigantic messenger of death. The fact was duly reported to the king. In great distress of mind, the king (Ugrasena) caused that
iron bolt to be reduced into fine powder. Vaishampayana said: "While the Vrishnis and the Andhakas were thus endeavouring (to avoid the impending
calamity), the embodied form of Time (death) every day wandered about their houses. He looked like a man of terrible and fierce aspect. Of bald head,
he was black and of tawny complexion. Sometimes be was seen by the Vrishnis as he peered into their houses. The mighty bowmen among the Vrishnis shot
hundreds and thousands of shafts at him, but none of these succeeded in piercing him, for he was none else than the Destroyer of all creatures. Day by
day strong winds blew, and many were the evil omens that arose, awful and foreboding the destruction of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas. The streets
swarmed with rats and mice. Earthen pots showed cracks or broke from no apparent cause. At night, the rats and mice ate away the hair and nails of
slumbering men. Sarikas chirped, sitting within the houses of the Vrishnis. The noise made by those birds ceased not for even a short while by day or
by night. The Sarashas were heard to imitate the hooting of the owl, and goats imitated the cries, O Bharata, of jackals. Many birds appeared,
impelled by Death, that were pale of complexion but that had legs red of hue .
Sacred-texts.com, Mausala Parva
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