Showing posts with label ANCIENT AEROPLANE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ANCIENT AEROPLANE. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Vaimanika Shastra

SUMMARY – A study of the work “Vymanika Shastra” is presented. First, the historical aspects and authenticity of the work are discussed. Subsequently, the work is critically reviewed in respect of its technical content. It appears that his work cannot be dated earlier than 1904 and contains details which, on the basis of our present knowledge, force us to conclude the non feasibility of heavier‐than-air craft of earlier times. Some peripheral questions concerning dimensions have also been touched upon.

1. Historical Aspects
A book titled “Brihad Vimana Shastra” by Shri Bramhamuni Parivrajaka was published in the year 1959 [1]. It contains verses in Sanskrit (describing aircraft) with their Hindi translation.
Recently, another book titled “Vymanika Shastra” by Shri G.R. Josyer has appeared [2], which contains the same Sanskrit verses with their English translation. One notable feature of this English version is that it contains drawings of some crafts too, something not to be found in the Hindi version. Also, the English work by Josyer makes no mention whatsoever of the earlier work in Hindi.
Our main concern in this report will be with the above two works.
These books contain verses which, according to their texts, are supposed to form only part (about a fortieth) of “Yantra Sarvaswa” by sage Bharadwaja, which is devoted to a summary of the work on vimana vigyana by a number of other sages and is said to be for the benefit of all mankind.
In his introduction to the “Brihad Vimana Shastra” (hereafter denoted as BVA) the translator has tried to hind at the Vedic origin of the text. In support of this he has invoked Maharshi Dayananda Saraswati’s work entitled “Rigaveda Bhashya Bhumika” [3]. Also, some quotations from western scholars are given in support of the clain for antiquity.
According to Maharshi Dayananda Saraswati’s commentary (first published in 1878 or earlier), there are references to aircraft in the Vedic mantras:
….going from one island to another with these crafts in three days and nights….and
Just an intelligent people constructed ships to cross oceans…..jumping into space speedily with a craft using fire and water…..containing 12 stamghas (pillars), one wheel, three
machines, 300 pivots, and 60 instruments.
These, however, are too vague, scanty, and totally inadequate to date their (verses) content to the Vedic period. Further, we are afraid we may be attributing meaning to shlokas based on what we know today. (More on this in Section 1.5).
The manuscript from which BVS was prepared as said to have been available a the Rajakiya Sanskrit Library, Baroda, in 1944. It is also stated in BVS that later another transcript was found in Poona with a signature and dates “go venkatacala sharma 9 ‐ 8 ‐ 1919″ set on it. BVS has been written on the basis of the above two transcripts which are essentially the same. It may be noted that in the introduction to BVS gratitude has been expressed to Air Com. Goel who probably has something to do with the procurement of these documents.
As already stated, the authorship of the work has been attributed to Maharshi Bharadwaja. Whether this Maharshi is the same as one of the seven seers (Saptarshis) is by no means substantiated. Thus the question of authorship remains as yet unanswered. It is possible, however, to throw more light on the situation. In his introductory remarks in the book Vymanika Shastra (VS from hereon) Josyer states that Pandit Subbaraya Shastry of Anekal dictated the verses to Shri G. Venkatachala Sharma (G.V. Sharma from hereon). No further details of the process in which the work came into existence have been given in VS.
However, we were able to locate Shri G.V. Sharma and Shri Venkatarama Shastry (adopted son of Pandit Subbaraya Shastry) with help from a retired scholor from the Tirupati Sanskrit Library, Shri Srinivasa Iyengar, who seems t have played some part in transactions relating to the transcripts in question. Discussions with both Shri Sharma and Shri Venkatarama Shastry cleared up many points concerning the history of the documents.
Shri G.V. Sharma was a close associate of Pandit Subbaraya Shastry (Shastriji from hereon) during his later years. It appears that Shastriji, who was supposedly endowed with certain mystical powers, used to spell out shlokas (verses) whenever he got inspiration. These used to be promptly taken down by Shri Sharma. After the full text had been so dedicated, copies were made which later found their way to several places, Most of this and other similar materials were kept in charge of Shri Venkatrama Shastry after the death of Shastriji in 1941.
The existence of the manuscript was known in some circles and that probably is how Air Com. Goel came to know of it and had it procured from the Baroda University Library sometime during 1944.
Sometime during 1951, Shri Josyer established an organization, called International Academy of Sanskrit Research. An exhibition of rare manuscripts was held during the inaugural function. Shri M.C. Krishnaswamy Iyengar, another associate of Shastriji, (who has published the English translation of the autobiography of Shastriji [4]) took some of the manuscripts, including the “Vymanika Shastra”, and had them exhibited there. Subsequently, the original manuscript and the drawings were procured and retained by Shri Josyer. The drawings were not contained in the transcripts which reached the Baroda University Library. That perhaps is why BVS lacks the drawings.
The authorship, as stated earlier, has been traced to Shastriji. It may be worth recording some of his life history to appreciate the situation in a better perspective. Following is a brief life sketch of Shastriji summarized from reference [4]. It appears that the autobiography was written to fulfil a promise made to Jagdish Chandra Bose (the well ‐ known scientist) by Shastriji, during one of the discussion meetings at Bombay.
Shastriji was born in a small village in Hosur Taluk (Madras State) and got married at the age of eight. His parents died a few years later and he was forced to support the large family, including brothers and sisters, virtually by begging. Subsequently, he went to stay with his father ‐ in ‐ law, but soon had to leave with his brothers and sisters, looking for alms at other towns. Thereafter, things got worse. Sometime later, his sisters and one of his three brothers died of small ‐ pox. He himself got such a severe attack that he no longer could move or use his own hands. His brothers perforce had to leave him to himself and move away. He had to live on grass and other leaves, like and animal, for a period of time. He then came to an area near Kolar (Karnataka) in a most pitiable state. It is stated that there he met a great saint, referred to as Guruji Maharaj in the text. This saint cured him of his terrible disease, initiated him into spirituality and revealed to him secrets of many shastras like Vimana Shastra, Bhautik Kala Nidhi, Jala Tantra, etc. in a cave.
Later on, Shastriji came back to Anekal and settled down with his wife to a quiet life. Circumstances forced him to adopt Shri Venkatarama Shastry as his son. Because of innate spirituality and mysticism, he came to influence many people, some wise, some rich, and some both. He then made several trips to Bombay and dictated Parts of Vimana Shastra there. He had the drawings (of aircraft) made sometime between 1900 and 1919 by someone called Ellappa who was a draughtsman in a local engineering college at the time.
Shastriji had no formal training (for schooling) of any kind. He learnt to read and write Telugu and Kannada scripts only when he came back after meeting Guruji Maharaj. His early boyhood and youth were spent in braving some of the worst calamities that can befall a man.
What appears strange in the whole matter is that Pandit Subbaraya Shastry, who apparently was not a ‘pnadit’ in anyordinary sense, dictated a work and nowhere in it did his name appear. Also, it was written as though Maharshi Bhadadwaja were its author. Any possible fraud in the matter, in our opinion, is out of the question sine Shastriji was known for his utter simplicity, humble and un[pretentious nature. It is also stated in his autobiography that he was unsure of the practicality of the ideas propounded in Vymanika Shastra. (The theory itself is highly unsound in our view). Also stated one late Dr. Talpade (of Bombay) tried to make models under the guidance of Shastriji, but that he was not successful in making any of then fly.
The dating of the work VS may be approached from other angles: (a) The kind of Sanskrit used in the text may indicate whether or not the text is of Vedic origin.
The text contains Shlokas set to anushtupa metre and its language is quite simple and modern. Again, in its introduction, BVS mentions that a few words did have a structure similar to that of the Vedic Sanskrit. The number of such words being very small, and their usage being incidental, it appears appropriate to conclude that the Sanskrit used in the text is modern. (b) Another significant point is the almost complete absence of any mention of use of aircraft in the innumerable Sanskrit texts of the post ‐ Vedic age. One text, namely “Samarangana Sutradhara”, by Bhoja deals with some description of aircraft, but does not quote any earlier work. What is more, Bhoja states that detailed description of their construction and other features will not be given lest the same be used for evil purpose by people? (We are tempted to remark that he did not know!)
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’. Of course, a discussion of whether these existed at all is undecideable within the realm of science and is beyond the scope of this paper.
Thus it appears to us from internal and related evidence that the work VS is of recent origin.
Despite these and other facts mentioned earlier Shri Josyer states in the introduction to his book [2] that the work is several thousand years old; the book in Hindi [1] tends to hint at the vedic origin of the text.
What we feel unfortunate in history is that some people tend to eulogise and glorify whatever they can find about our past, even without valid evidence. In the absence of any evidence, efforts will be made to produce part of the evidence in favour of antiquity. The above two works are by no means exceptions to this, in particular the recently published book. In fact the introduction to Reference [2] is least scholarly by any standards. We feel that the people connected with publication – directly or indirectly – are solely to blame either for distorting or hiding the history of the manuscripts.
Thus the work “Vymanika Shastra” was brought into existence sometime between 1900 and 1922 by Pandit Subbaraya Shastry by techniques unclear to us at the moment. The only evidence in favour of Maharshi Bhardwaja being the author is the textual statement and nothing more.
2. Technical Survey And Criticism
A general treatise on any subject, particularly as complex as aeronautics, starts off with an enunciation of the basic principles involved and subsequently discusses the integration and development of these principles into a technology. This is indeed so with any of the treaties on modern science or technology. Contrary to this, the Vymanika Shastra gets down to details right away; even here there is no expression of any kind of generality. The different parts (of aircraft) are quantitatively described as though a particular plane were being described.
The science of aeronautics requires an understanding of a number of disciplines: aerodynamics, aeronautical structures, propulsive devices, materials, and metallurgy. The subject works lay uncalled for emphasis on propulsive devices and structures, but little or no emphasis on aerodynamics. It is worth pointing out that the history of aeronautics (western) in regard to production of heavier ‐ than ‐ air craft is studded with initial failures, significantly traceable to a non ‐ understanding of aerodynamics [5].
The works [1,2] under discussion contain description and details on the definition of an airplane, a pilot, aerial routes, food, clothing, metals, metal production, mirrors and their uses in wars, varieties of machinery and yantras, planes like ‘mantrik’, ‘tantrik’, and ‘kritak’. Details about four planes in the ‘kritak’ category – Shakuna, Sundara, Rukma, and Tripura – are also given.
We will address ourselves principally to the above mentioned four planes; the discussion will be on the basis of principles, geometry, materials, chemistry, and operational data.
2.2a General – As the name suggests, this vimana (plane) is like a bird. It is supposed to contain the following parts: Peetha (floor board), hollow mast, three wheeled keelakas (hinges) with holes, four heaters, air suction pipes, water jacket, oil tank, shakuna yantra, two wings, tail portion to enable the vimana to fly, owshyamaka yantra or heat engine, etc.
It has several tiers, each one containing different yantras (machines). The drawings show parts like cylinder, piston worm gear, and pumps which seem entirely modern (beyond 18 th century)
2.2b Principles – A few lines have been devoted to the function of wings and tail and they appear to be incorrect. From what is given in the following verses:
It appears that great importance is given to the tail portion for the generation of lift. Also the function of the hinge wings becomes unclear in this context. It may be noted that it is the wings which should contribute to the life of the craft and the tail portion to its controllability.
2.2c Geometry – The height and width of the craft, in our opinion, are in such proportion as to put its stability in serious question. There are inconsistencies in the dimensions mentioned in the
verses and those given in the drawings. For
Here the dimensions are as follows. The floor board height is 80 feet; its width and length are 56 feet each. The latter dimensions are different in the drawings, being 80 and 25 feet respectively. In the verses, ‘vitasti’ is used as a unit of length while in the drawings ‘foot’ is adopted. The value of vitasti varies from 9 inches to a foot depending upon the situation in which the term is used. Here it appears as though vitasti has been equated to a foot at all places.
2.2d Operational data – There are no statements on the capabilities of this craft.
2.2e Materials – There is mention of a number of materials. The floor board is made of ‘raja loha’. This material, supposedly, is to be made from ‘prana kshara’ (ammonium chloride), Bengal gram, benzoin, mercury borax, mica, silver, and ‘panchamrita’(!), all mixed, heated to 800 ‘kaksha’ (unit of temperature), and poured out. There is a number of other materials described herein.
2.2f Comments – It must be pointed out here that the essential idea of flying like a bird has been tried by many people (abroad) over several centuries right from the time of Leonardo ‐ da ‐ Vinci, but without any success whatever. Hence the feasibility of a craft of the above type is a near impossibility. Furthermore, the author – whoever he be – shows a complete lack of understanding of the dynamics of the flight of heavier ‐ than ‐ air craft.
2.3a General – This plane meant for flight only in the air has five tires and a number of parts.
These are: ground plate, smoke chimney, five gas engines, metal pipe wind blower, electricity generator, four faced heater, and outer cover.
2.3b Principles – The place has been described in considerable detail though no basic principles of operation have been mentioned. From what may be salvaged as principles, we have the following: electricity is generated by some means (what appears to be a combination of friction, heat, solar rays, waterfall etc.) through use of ‘jyotirmukha’ and several other materials including sixteen ‘drona’ measures of donkey’s urine! The use of 80 ‘link’ of electricity is expected to vaporize oil. Also, steam is generated separately. It appears that by operating some switches, these two (oil and steam) can be mixed to produce 500 ‘kaksha’ heat. These are then passed through a pipe called ‘shundala’ (like elephant’s trunk) for purposes of propulsion. Further there is detailed description of some machinery. Looking into drawings and the text leads one to conclude that air is sucked from the bottom, and hot gases are allowed to exhaust through pipes toward the top. And this is expected to produce force to life the plane up a statement which is a gross violation of Newton’s laws. It may be mentioned that there are verses which imply such violations clearly:
“……….The fast movement of the plane takes place in the same direction in which the jet gets out of shundala..”
The shloka has been set with a question mark in BVS. However, in VS Shri Josyer seems to have edited the relevant part of the verse into
… svayameva vimanasya gamanam …
Because of this editing, meanings of the verses don’t tie in properly. In fact, this editing was totally uncalled for and should not have been done. If it was to be performed, it should have been indicated as such.
2.3c Geometry & operational data – It has the shape of a cone ‐ cylinder combination, with a base diameter of 32 feet, cylinder height of 20 feet, and cone height of 29 feet. The whole geometry appears to be one of a mobile factory, if anything, and much less of an aircraft. The speed of smoke from the gas engine (dhoomodga yantra) is said to be 2113 ‘link’. Wind speed from ‘nala stambha’ is said to be 600 ‘link’. Speed of the craft is given in:
Four hundred yojanas are covered in one ghatika.
Ghatika has a standard implication of 24 minutes. Yojana has an implication of about 8 to 10 miles (some interpret yojana to mean more). Even with the smaller figure the craft speed amounts to 8000 mph – fantastic figure by any standards. It may be noted that no aircraft of today has attained such speed inside the atmosphere.
2.3d Chemistry & materials – One of the vessels used for production of electricity is expected to be filled with apamarga, sampasya, and ayaskanta soaked in elephant’s urine mixed with mercury. Another vessel is to be filled with cow’s urine, and so on. There are several other descriptions in a similar vein without any possible sense.
2.4a General – This plane has a five tier structure, with passenger cabins on the third tier. The plane is meant for flight only in the air.
2.4b Principles – This aircraft is the one which some of us thought meaningful quite some time back while studying BVS. AT that time VS (containing the drawings) was not available. From BVS we conclude that there were long vertical ducts containing fans at the top. The direction of airflow was not indicated in the text. We presumed, therefore, that upward flight would be feasible by running the fans to suck air from the top and send it down the ducts, generating a lift in the process, essentially like a vertical takeoff and landing craft (VTOL).
In the text it is stated that lift is generated by the beating of ‘ayahpinda’ wheels against the floor board. Electrical tube wheels are supposed to aid flight in a manner not discussed at all. The purpose of fans has not been indicated in the text, whereas in the figure they have been captioned as “lifting fans”. Further, like in other crafts, the static stability is in some doubt.
2.4c Geometry – The geometry is again a cylinder ‐ cone combination with a base diameter of 100 feet, height of 20 feet, and cone height of 80 feet. The text mentions a dimension of 1000 feet for the base.
However, the drawing shows only 100 feet. This is a geometrical contradiction.
2.4d Operational data – The Description mentions a speed of 105 kroshas per ghatika amounting to a speed of 625 mph (compared to the speed of sound of about 760 mph). This is an incredible speed even for a sleek aircraft and just impossible for the kind of geometry used.
2.4e Materials – A number of materials is mentioned principal among which is ‘raja loha’.
2.4f Comments – If the craft is taken to mean what the drawings and the text say, it can be stated that the craft is a decided impossibility.
2.5a General – This plane is supposed to fly in air, and move water and land. When moving over water the wheels are to be retracted.
2.5b Principles – No mention of any principles of operation has been made. Power is said to be generated from the generator from the generator at the top using sun’s rays and some acids in a manner not described. The general description and the diagrams seem to indicate the use of electric motors which were known only in the 19 th century. 2.5c
Geometry & operational data – It is oval shaped in plan with a length of 100 feet and maximum width of 24 feet. The height of the craft is 30 feet. No operational data have been given.
2.5d Materials – In order to prevent water from seeping into the craft, when it is moving over water, it is said to be covered with a cloth known as milk cloth ( kshirapata ). Also the description of an alloy has been given which is supposed to be light and fire resistant.
3. General Comments and Conclusions
Any reader by now would have concluded the obvious – that the planes described above are the best poor concoctions, rather than expressions of something real. None of the planes has properties or capabilities of being flown; the geometries are unimaginably horrendous from the point of view of flying; and the principles of propulsion make then resist rather than assist flying.
The text and the drawings do not correlate with each other even thematically. The drawings definitely point to a knowledge of modern machinery. This can be explained on the basis of the fact that Shri Ellappa who made the drawings was in a local engineering college and was thus familiar with names and details of some machinery. Of course the text retains a structure in language and content from which its ‘recent nature’ cannot be asserted. We must hasten to point out that this does not imply an oriental nature of the text at all. All that may be said is that thematically the drawings ought to be ruled out of discussion. And the text, as it stands, is incomplete and ambiguous by itself and incorrect at many places.
A large number of verses has been devoted to the metallurgical and material aspects, as stated earlier.
Also, a number of cross references indicated in BVS belong to the subject of materials. (Incidentally, these references are not to be found in VS.) This is understandable since our people were leaders in this field in earlier times. A number of materials made of iron, brass, and bronze, in existence since times immemorial and even till this day, are proofs enough of this feature.
Yet the description of materials and their making in the text do not seem to make much sense from the point of view of making them in actual practice.
Be this as it may, the text raises some peripheral questions. One of them concerns the kind of units used. The basic text uses ‘vitasti’ for length, ‘link’ for speed, ‘kaksha’ for heat, & ‘link’ again for electrical force. The units of speed and temperature are new and, to the best of our knowledge, do not have any easily decipherable meaning. Some effort was made to determine the internal consistency of these units, but this did not prove successful.
Also, no data have been given about the weights of crafts and their components. This is serious since weight is fundamental to the flying of heavier ‐ than ‐ air machines. Moreover, the unit of mass does not even appear anywhere is the text.
1. Swami Bramhamuni Parivrajaka, “Brihad Vimana Shastra”, Sarvadeshik Arya Pratinidhi Sabha. Dayanand Bhavan, New Delhi, 1959.
2. G. R. Josyer, “Vymanika Shastra”, Internaitonal Academy of Sanskrit Research, Mysore ‐ 4.
3. Dayananda Saraswati, “Rig ‐ veda Bhashya Bhumika”, Vydika Yantralaya, Ajmer, 1929.
4. G. Venkatachala Sharma, The Autobiography (in English of Pandit Subbaraya Shastry), published by M. C. Krishnaswamy Iyengar, and C. Venkatachala Sharma.
5. Theodore von Karmen, “The Aerodynamics”, McGraw Hill Company, 1963.
6. Editor’s comment – In this context, it must be pointed out that Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati (MDS) in his commentary on the Rigveda (reference 3 above, published first in 1878 or earlier), has also something to say on the subject of movement of aircraft in different directions.
In his comments (on the verses given in Sub ‐ section 1.2 of this article) MDS says:
“……..One of them to halt the craft, one to make it move forward, and the third to make it move backwards. …There be 60 instruments, some working at one time and the others at other times. ….In other words, to lift the lane up, the top openings for steam must be closed and to bring the craft down, steam should appropriately be allowed to exhaust from the top. Similarly, to propel the aircraft eastward, eastward steam openings must be closed and westward ones opened: to take the plane in the westward direction, westward steam openings should be shut and eastward ones opened; and so on for movements in the north and south directions. And there be no mistakes in this. …There are many more verses on the subject (of aircrafts), but the wise will get the idea from whatever little is given here.”
The statements above would appear to indicate complete accord with the Newton’s laws of motion. Contradictions apparent in the verses and drawings in [1] and [2] are quite puzzling, especially when one considers the fact that [3] was supposedly available when [1] and [2] were compiled.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Ancient Architecture-Modern science has no answer

A testimony to ancient metallurgical skills in Delhi, India is called the Ashoka Pillar. Standing over 23 feet, it averages 16 inches in diameter and weighs about 6 tons. The solid wrought-iron shaft is made up of expertly welded discs. An inscription on the base is an epitaph to King Chandra Gupta II, who died in A.D. 413.

Despite being well over a millennium and a half in age, the Pillar's constitution is remarkably preserved. The smooth surface is like polished brass with only occasional instances of pock-marks and weathering. The mystery is that any equivalent mass of iron, subjected to the Indian monsoon rains, winds and temperatures for 1,600 years or more would have been reduced to rust long ago.

Production of the iron and the techniques of preservation are far beyond 5th century abilities. It is probably far older, maybe several thousand years. Who were the mysterious metallurgists who made this wonder, and what happened to their civilization?

A few days before Easter Sunday in 1900, Greek sponge divers off the small island of Antikythera discovered the remains of an ancient ship filled with bronze and marble statues and assorted artifacts later dated between 85 and 50 B.C.

Among the finds was a small formless lump of corroded bronze and rotted wood. which was sent along with the other artifacts to the National Museum in Athens for further study. Soon, as the wood fragments dried and shrank from exposure to air, the lump split open revealing inside the outlines of a series of gear wheels like a modern clock.

In 1958 Dr. Derek J. de Solla Price successfully reconstructed the machine's appearance and use. The gearing system calculated the annual movements of the sun and moon. The arrangement shows that the gears could be moved forward and backward with ease at any speed. The device was thus not a clock but more like a calculator that could show the positions of the heavens past, present and future.

It is highly possible that the device may have origins ages long before the Greeks, and in a land far removed, now unknown.


In 1898 a curious winged object was discovered in the tomb of Pa-di-Imen in north Saqqara, Egypt dated to about 200 B.C. Because the birth of modern aviation was still several years away, when the strange artifact was sent to the Cairo Museum, it was catalogued and then shelved among other miscellaneous items to gather dust.

Seventy years later, Dr. Khalil Messiha, an Egyptologist and archaeologist, was examining a Museum display labeled bird figurines. While most of the display were indeed bird sculptures,
the Saqqara artifact was certainly not. It possessed characteristics never found on birds, yet which are part of modern aircraft design. Dr. Messiha, a former model plane enthusiast, immediately recognized the aircraft features and persuaded the Egyptian Ministry of Culture to investigate.

Made of very light sycamore the craft weighs 0.5 oz. with straight and aerodynamically shaped wings, spanning about 7 inches. A separate slotted piece fits onto the tail precisely like the back tail wing on a modern plane.

A full-scale version could have flown carrying heavy loads, but at low speeds, between 45 and 65 miles per hour. What is not known, however, is what the power source was. The model makes a perfect glider as it is. Even though over 2,000 years old, it will soar a considerable distance with only a slight jerk of the hand. Fully restored balsa replicas travel even farther.

Messiha notes that the ancient Egyptians often built scale models of everything familiar in their daily lives and placed them in their tombs, temples, ships, chariots, servants, animals and so forth.

Now that we have found a model plane, Messiha wonders if perhaps somewhere under the desert sands there may yet be unearthed the remains of life-sized gliders.


In 1954 the government of Colombia sent part of its collection of ancient gold artifacts on a U. S. tour. Emmanuel Staubs, one of America's leading jewelers, was commissioned to cast reproductions of six of the objects. Fifteen years later one was given to biologist-zoologist Ivan T. Sanderson for analysis. After a thorough examination and consulting a number of experts, Sanderson's mind-boggling conclusion was that the object is a model of a high-speed aircraft at least a thousand years old.

Approximately 2 inches long the object was worn as a pendant on a neck chain. It was classified as Sinu, a pre-Inca culture from A.D. 500 to 800. Both Sanderson and Dr. Arthur Poyslee of the Aeronautical Institute of New York concluded it did not represent any known winged animal. In fact, the little artifact appears more mechanical than biological. For example, the front wings are delta-shaped and rigidly straight edged, very un-animal-like.

The rudder is perhaps the most un-animal but airplane-like item. It is right-triangle, flat-surfaced, and rigidly perpendicular to the wings. Only fish have upright tail fins, but none have exclusively an upright flange without a counter-balancing lower one. Adding to the mystery, an insignia appears on the left face of the rudder, precisely where ID marks appear on many airplanes today. The insignia is perhaps as out-of place as the gold model itself, for it has been identified as the Aramaic or early Hebrew letter beth or B.

This may indicate that the original plane did not come from Colombia, but was the product of a very early people inhabiting the Middle East who knew the secret of flying.


Without doubt the most famous and enigmatic ancient crystal is the skull, discovered in 1927 by F.A. Mitchell-Hedges atop a ruined temple at the ancient Mayan city of Lubaantum, in British Honduras, now Belize.

The skull was made from a single block of clear quartz, 5 inches high, 7 inches long and 5 inches wide. It is about the size of a small human cranium, with near perfect detail. In 1970, art restorer Frank Dorland was given permission to submit the skull to tests at the Hewlitt-Packard Laboratories. Revealed were many anomalies.

The skull had been carved with total disregard to the natural crystal axis, a process unheard-of in modern crystallography. No metal tools were used. Dorland was unable to find any tell-tale scratch marks. Indeed, most metals would have been ineffectual. A modern penknife cannot mark it. From tiny patterns near the carved surfaces, Dorland determined it was first chiseled into rough form, probably using diamonds. The finer shaping, grinding and polishing, Dorland believes, was done with innumerable applications of water and silicon-crystal sand. If true, it would have taken 300 years of continuous labor. We must accept this almost unimaginable feat, or admit to the use of some form of lost technology.

Modern science is stumped to explain the skill and knowledge incorporated. As Garvin summarized: It is virtually impossible today, in the time when men have climbed mountains on the moon, to duplicate this achievement...It would not be a question of skill, patience and time. It would simply be impossible.


The Museum of Natural History in London displays an early Paleolithic skull, dated at 38,000 years old, and excavated in 1921 in modern Zambia. On the left side of the skull is a perfectly round hole nearly a third of an inch in diameter. Curiously, there are no radial split-lines around the hole or other marks that should have been left by a cold weapon, such as an arrow or spear. Opposite the hole, the cranium is shattered, and reconstruction of the fragments show the skull was
blown from the inside out, as from a rifle shot. In fact, any slower a projectile would have produced neither the neat hole nor the shattering effect.

Forensic experts who have examined the skull agree the cranial damage could not have been caused by anything but a high-speed projectile, purposely fired at the prehistoric victim, with intent to kill.

If such a weapon was indeed fired at the man, then one of two conclusions can be made: Either the specimen is not as old as it is claimed to be, and was shot by a European in recent centuries, or the remains are as old as claimed, and the marksman was ancient too. In view of the fact that the Paleolithic skull was excavated from a depth of 60 feet, mostly of lead rock, the second conclusion is more plausible.

But who possessed gunpowder 38,000 years ago? Certainly not Stone Age man himself. Another race must have existed, one far more advanced and civilized, yet contemporary.


A very unique time-capsule of images is housed in a warehouse in Ica, Peru. Here are some 20,000 stone boulders, tablets, and baseball-sized rocks, decorated with an astounding assortment of pictures, in many cases very much out of time and place. The owner is local physician, amateur archeologist and geologist Dr. Javier Cabrera Darquea.

Most material employed is a gray andesite, an extremely hard granitic semi-crystalline matrix, that is very difficult to carve. But as Dr. Cabrera observed, People have been finding these engraved stones in the region for years. They were first seen and recorded by Jesuit missionary Father Simon, who accompanied Pizarro in 1525. Samples were shipped to Spain in 1562.

The stone portraits show very sophisticated surgery skills and medical knowledge, in some cases as advanced, and even more advanced, than today. There are scenes of Caesarean sections, blood transfusions, the use of acupuncture needles as an anesthetic (which only gained use in the West since the late 1970s), delicate operations on the lungs and kidneys, and removal of cancerous tumors. There are likewise detailed images of open heart and open brain surgery, as well as 20 stones showing a step-by-step heart transplant procedure.

This is a disturbing revelation in itself, that someone in unknown antiquity achieved a level of sophistication rivaling our own. But there are other pictures even more out-of-place. As Dr. Cabrera noted, and as has been verified by other medical physicians, there are stone etchings which show a brain transplant.

The prehistoric surgeons, it is evident, possessed knowledge several steps beyond modern-day surgery.


For the past three decades miners at the Wonderstone Silver Mine near Ottosdal in the Western Transvaal, South Africa,
have been extracting out of deep rock several strange metallic spheroids. So far at least 200 have been found. In 1979, several were closely examined by J.R. McIver, professor of geology at the University of Witwaterstand in Johannesburg, and geologist professor Andries Bisschoff of Potsshefstroom University.

The metallic spheroids look like flattened globes, averaging 1 to 4 inches in diameter, and their exteriors usually are colored steel blue with a reddish reflection, and embedded in the metal are tiny flecks of white fibers. They are made of a nickel-steel alloy which does not occur naturally, and is of a composition that rules them out, being of meteoric origin. Some have only a thin shell about a quarter of an inch thick, and when broken open are found filled with a strange spongy material that disintegrated into dust on contact with the air.

What makes all this very remarkable is that the spheroids were mined out of a layer of pyrophyllite rock, dated both geologically and by the various radio-isotope dating techniques as being at least 2.8 to 3 billion years old.

Adding mystery to mystery, Roelf Marx, curator of the South African Klerksdorp Museum, has discovered that the spheroid he has on exhibit slowly rotates on its axis by its own power, while locked in its display case and free of outside vibrations.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Mercury found in Ancient Pyramid in Mexico? Theory of Ancient Indian aeroplanes used Mercury.

Finally Mercury was found in base of Pyramid in New Mexico. Why it is important and how much scientist could use it or misuse it. Ancient Indians made aeroplane that used Mercury as scriptures in "VIMANA SHASTRA",Ancient Indian Aeroplane technology, described it. In fact First aircraft was not invented by Wright brothers but by an Indian scientist who used Theory of building aeroplane by Sage Bharadwaj and really flew aeroplane on principle of Mercury. The largest pyramid in the world  is actually in china has a massive stockpile of mercury, the strange part is that the Chinese government planted vegetation all over the PYRAMID to hide it from view, and bans anyone from coming close to it.
The city, dubbed the abode of the gods in the ancient language Nahuatl, was once the nucleus of an empire. About 200,000 people are thought to have lived there between 100 and 700 A.D., until its residents mysteriously hightailed it away. The city remained largely intact, but much is unknown about its people, how life flourished there and who was in the seat of power. Also unknown is whether power was passed down through a dynasty or if the ruler was an overlord.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015




The value and importance of the army were realized very early in the history of India, and this led in course of time to the maintenance of a permanent militia to put down dissensions. War or no war, the army was to be maintained, to meet any unexpected contingency. This gave rise to the Ksatriya or warrior caste, and the ksatram dharman came to mean the primary duty of war. To serve the country by participating in war became the svadharma or this warrior community.

The necessary education, drill, and discipline to cultivate militarism were confined to the members of one community, the Ksatriyas. This prevented the militant attitude from spreading to other communities and kept the whole social structure unaffected by actual wars and war institutions.
Says the Arthva Veda:
"May we revel, living a hundred winters, rich in heroes."
The whole country looked upon the members of the ksatriya community as defenders of their country and consequently did not grudge the high influence and power wielded by the Ksatriyas, who were assigned a social rank next in importance to the intellectual and spiritual needs of the society.
The ancient Hindus were a sensitive people, and their heroes were instructed that they were defending the noble cause of God, Crown and Country. Viewed in this light, war departments were 'defense' departments and military expenditure were included in the cost of defense. In this, as in many cases, ancient India was ahead of modern ideas.

Chivalry, individual heroism, qualities of mercy and nobility of outlook even in the grimmest of struggles were not unknown to the soldiers of ancient India. Thus among the laws of war, we find that,
(1) a warrior (Khsatriya) in armor must not fight with one not so clad
(2) one should fight only one enemy and cease fighting if the opponent is disabled
(3) aged men, women and children, the retreating, or one who held a straw in his lips as a sign of unconditional surrender should not be killed
It is of topical interest to note that one of the laws enjoins the army to leave the fruit and flower gardens, temples and other places of public worship unmolested. Terence Duke, author of The Boddhisattva Warriors: The Origin, Inner Philosophy, History and Symbolism of the Buddhist Martial Art Within India and China, martial arts went from India to China. Fighting without weapons was a specialty of the ancient Ksatreya warriors of India.
Territorial ideal of a one-State India

Imperial sway in ancient India meant the active rule of an individual monarch who by his ability and prowess brought to subjection the neighboring chieftains and other rulers, and proclaimed himself the sole ruler of the earth. This goes by the name of digvi-jaya. It is not necessary that he should conquer all States by the sword. A small state might feel the weight of a conquering king and render obeisance of its own accord.

According to the Sangam classics, each of the respective rulers of the chief Tamil kingdoms, the Cera, Cola and Pandya, carried his sword as far north as the Himalayas, and implanted on its lofty heights his respective crest the bow, the tiger and the fish. In these adventures which the Tamil Kings underwent for their glorification, they did not lag behind their northern brethren. The very epithet Imayavaramban shows that the limits of the empire under that Emperor extended to the Himalayas in the north.
This title was also earned by Ceran Senguttuvan by his meritorious exploits in the north. Names like the Cola Pass in the Himalayan slopes, which in very early times connected Nepal and Bhutan with ancient Tibet, give a certain clue to the fact that once Tamil kings went so far north as the Himalayas and left their indelible marks in those regions.
Kshatriya Warrior (Now in Indian Museum, Calcutta).
If in the epic age a Rama and an Arjuna could come to the extremity of our peninsula, and in the historical period of a Chandragupta or a Samudragupta could undertake an expedition to this part of our country, nothing could prevent a king of prowess and vast resources like the Cera king Senguttuvan from carrying his armies to the north. The route lay through the Dakhan plateau, the Kalinga, Malva, and the Ganga. Perhaps it was the ancient Daksinapatha route known to history from the epoch of the Rg Veda Samhita.

The king who became conqueror of all India was entitled to the distinction of being called a Samrat. In the Puranic period the great Kartavirya Arjuna of the Haihaya clan spread his arms throughout the ancient Indian continent and earned the title of Samrat.
The same principle of glory and distinction underlay the performance of the sacrifice, Asvamedha and Rajasuya, which were intended only for the members of the Ksatriya community.

This bears testimony to ' the existence of the territorial ideal of a one-State India' (Cakravartiksetram of Kautalya). These kings were called Sarvabhaumas and Ekarats.

Vedic kings aimed at it, and epic rulers realized it. The idea of ekarat, continued down to Buddhist times and even later. The Jatakas which are said to belong to the fifth and sixth century B.C., make pointed reference to an all-Indian empire.
This concept of an all-India empire stretching from Kanyakumari to the Himalayas, according to Kautalya receives further support from another important political term: ekacchatra, or one-umbrella sovereignty.

Hindus have given shelter to the persecuted people from many lands and in all ages. But what is most important, they have always regarded their own homeland as the only playfield for their chakravartins, and never waged wars of conquest beyond the borders of Bharata-varsha.

The Laws of War

When society became organized and a warrior caste (Kshatriya) came into being, it was felt that the members of this caste should be governed by certain humane laws, the observance of which, it was believed, would take them to heaven, while their non-observance would lead them into hell. In the post Vedic epoch, and especially before the epics were reduced to writing, lawless war had been supplanted, and a code had begun to govern the waging of wars. The ancient law-givers, the reputed authors of the Dharmasutras and the Dharmasastras, codified the then existing customs and usages for the betterment of mankind. Thus the law books and the epics contain special sections on royal duties and the duties of common warriors.

It is a general rule that kings were chosen from among the Kshatriya caste. In other words, a non-Ksatriya was not qualified to be a king. And this is probably due to the fact that the kshatriya caste was considered superior to others in virtue of its material prowess. Though the warrior's code enjoins that all the Ksatriyas should die on the field of battle, still in practice many died a peaceful death. There is a definite ordinance of the ancient law books prohibiting the warrior caste from taking to asceticism.
Action and renunciation is the watch-word of the Ksatriya. The warrior was not generally allowed to don the robes of an ascetic. But Mahavira and Gautama protested against these injunctions and inaugurated an order of monks or sannyasins. When these dissenting sects gathered in strength and numbers, the decline of Ksatriya valor set in. Once they were initiated into a life of peace and prayer, they preferred it to the horrors of war. this was a disservice that dissenting sects did to the cause of ancient India.

When a conqueror felt that he was in a position to invade the foreigner's country, he sent an ambassador with the message: 'Fight or submit.'
More than 5000 years ago India recognized that the person of the ambassador was inviolable. This was a great service that ancient Hinduism rendered to the cause of international law. It was the religious force that invested the person of the herald or ambassador with an inviolable sanctity in the ancient world.
The Mahabharata rules that the king who killed an envoy would sink into hell with all his ministers.
The Mahabharata War
Dharmayuddha is war carried on the principles of Dharma, meaning here the Ksatradharma or the law of Kings and Warriors.
The Hindu laws of war are very chivalrous and humane, and prohibit the slaying of the unarmed, of women, of the old, and of the conquered.
Megasthenes noticed a peculiar trait of Indian warfare they never ravage an enemy's land with fire, nor cut down its trees.

The Bhagavad Gita has influenced great Americans from Thoreau to Oppenheimer.
Its message of letting go of the fruits of one’s actions is just as relevant today as it was when it was first written more than two millennia ago.
As early as as the 4th century B.C. Megasthenes noticed a peculiar trait of Indian warfare.
"Whereas among other nations it is usual, in the contests of war, to ravage the soil and thus to reduce it to an uncultivated waste, among the Indians, on the contrary, by whom husbandmen are regarded as a class that is sacred and inviolable, the tillers of the soil, even when battle is raging in their neighborhood, are undisturbed by any sense of danger, for the combatants on either side in waging the conflict make carnage of each other, but allow those engaged in husbandry to remain quite unmolested. Besides, they never ravage an enemy's land with fire, nor cut down its trees." (source: A Brief History of India - By Alain Danielou p. 106).
The modern "scorched earth" policy was then unknown. "
Professor H. H. Wilson says:
"The Hindu laws of war are very chivalrous and humane, and prohibit the slaying of the unarmed, of women, of the old, and of the conquered."
At the very time when a battle was going on, be says, the neighboring cultivators might be seen quietly pursuing their work, - " perhaps ploughing, gathering for crops, pruning the trees, or reaping the harvest." Chinese pilgrim to Nalanda University, Hiuen Tsiang affirms that although the there were enough of rivalries and wars in the 7th century A.D. the country at large was little injured by them.

Weapons of War as Gathered from Literature

Dhanur Veda classifies the weapons of offence and defense into four - the mukta, the amukta, the mukta-mukta and the yantramukta. The Nitiprakasika, on the other hand, divides them into three broad classes, the mukta (thrown), the amukta (not thrown), and the mantramukta (discharged by mantras).
The bows and arrows are the chief weapons of the mukta group.
The very fact that our military science named Dhanur Veda provides sufficiently clearly that the bow and arrow were the principle weapons of war in those times. It was known by different terms as sarnga, kodanda, and karmuka. Whether these are synonyms of the same thing or were different is difficult to say. The Rg vedaic smith was not only a steel worker but also an arrow maker.


It would be interesting to examine the true nature of the agneya-astras. Kautalya describes agni-bana, and mentions three recipes - agni-dharana, ksepyo-agni-yoga, and visvasaghati. Visvasaghati was composed of 'the powder of all the metals as red as fire or the mixture of the powder of kumbhi, lead, zinc, mixed with the charcoal and with oil wax and turpentine.' From the nature of the ingredients of the different compositions it would appear that they were highly inflammable and could not be easily extinguished.

A recent writer remarks:
'The Visvasaghati-agni-yoga was virtually a bomb which burst and the fragments of metals were scattered in all directions. The agni-bana was the fore-runner of a gun-shot.....
Sir A. M. Eliot tells us that the Arabs learnt the manufacture of gunpowder from India, and that before their Indian connection they had used arrows of naptha. It is also argued that though Persia possessed saltpetre in abundance, the original home of gunpowder was India. It is said that the Turkish word top and the Persian tupang or tufang are derived from the Sanskrit word dhupa. The dhupa of the Agni Purana means a rocket, perhaps a corruption of the Kautaliyan term natadipika. (source: Fire-Arms in Ancient India - By Jogesh Chandra Ray I.H.Q. viii. p. 586-88).

Heinrich Brunnhofer (1841-1917), German Indologist, also believed that the ancient Aryans of India knew about gunpowder.
(source: German Indologists: Biographies of Scholars in Indian Studies writing in German - By Valentine Stache-Rosen. p.92).
Gustav Oppert (1836-1908) born in Hamburg, Germany, he taught Sanskrit and comparative linguistics at the Presidency College, Madras for 21 years. He was the Telugu translator to the Government and Curator, Government Oriental Manuscript Library. Translated Sukraniti, statecraft by an unknown author.

He attempted to prove that ancient Indians knew firearms. (source: German Indologists: Biographies of Scholars in Indian Studies writing in German - By Valentine Stache-Rosen. p.81. For more refer to article by G R Josyer - India: The Home of Gunpowder and Firearms).

In his work, Political Maxims of the Ancient Hindus, he says, that ancient India was the original home of gunpowder and fire-arms. It is probable that the word Sataghni referred to in the Sundara Kanda of the Ramayana refers to cannon.
(source: Hindu Culture and The Modern Age - By Dewan Bahadur K.S. Ramaswami Shastri - Annamalai University 1956 p. 127).

The word astra in the Sukraniti is interpreted by Dr. Gustav Oppert as a bow. The term astra means a missile, anything which is discharged. Agneya astra means a fiery arm as distinguished from a firearm.

Dr. Oppert refers to half a dozen temples in South India to prove the use of fire-arms in ancient India. The Palni temple in the Madura District contains on the outer portion in an ancient stone mantapa scenes of carved figures of soldiers carrying in their hands small fire-arms, apparently the small-sized guns mentioned in the Sukranitisara.
Again in the Sarnagapani temple at Kumbakonam in the front gate of the fifth story from the top is the figure of a king sitting in a chariot drawn by horses and surrounded by a number of soldiers. Before this chariot march two sepoys with pistols in their hands. In the Nurrukkal mantapam of the Conjeevaram temple is a pillar on the north side of the mandapa. Here is a relief vividly representing a flight between two bodies of soldiers. Mounted horsemen are also seen.
The foot-soldier is shown aiming his fire-arm against the enemy. Such things are also noted in the Tanjore temple and the temple at Perur, in the Coimbatore District. In the latter there is an actual representation of a soldier loading a musket.

The Borobudar in Java where Indian tradition is copied wholesale. They are ascribed roughly to the period 750-850 A.D. There is a striking relief series PL. I, fig. 5, (1605) representing a battle in which two others are seen on each side, one wearing a curved sword in the right hand and a long shield, and the other a mace and a round shield resembling a wheel, all apparently made of iron. The story of the Ramayana is also given as in the Tadpatri temple from Rama's going to the forest down to the killing of Ravana. There is also a wonderful sculpture of an ancient Hindu ship.
(source: Suvarnadvipa - By R.C. Majumdar. pp 194-5).

Medhatithi remarks thus "while fighting his enemies in battle, he shall not strike with concealed weapons nor with arrows that are poisoned or barbed on with flaming shafts."

Sukraniti while referring to fire-arms, (agneyastras) says that before any war, the duty of the minister of war is to check up the total stock of gunpowder in the arsenal. Small guns is referred as tupak by Canda Baradayi. The installation of yantras (engines of war) inside the walls of the forts referred to by Manasollasa and the reference of Sataghni (killer of hundreds of men) pressed into service for the protection of the forts by Samaranganasutradhara clearly reveals the frequent use of fire arms in the battle-field.
(source: India Through The Ages: History, Art Culture and Religion - By G. Kuppuram p. 512-513).
Lord Rama with his bow defeats Ravana in the gold city of Lanka.
In the light of the above remarks we can trace the evolution of fire-arms in the ancient India. There is evidence to show that agni (fire) was praised for vanquishing an enemy. The Arthava Veda shows the employment of fire-arms with lead shots. The Aitareya Brahmana describes an arrow with fire at its tip. In the Mahabharata and Ramayana, the employment of agnyastras is frequently mentioned, and this deserves careful examination in the light of other important terms like ayah, kanapa and tula-guda.

The agnicurna or gunpowder was composed of 4 to 6 parts of saltpetre, one part of sulphur, and one part of charcoal of arka, sruhi and other trees burnt in a pit and reduced to powder. Here is certain evidence of the ancient rockets giving place to actual guns in warfare. From the description of the composition of gunpowder, the composition of the Sukraniti can be dated at the pre-Gupta age. (source: War in Ancient India - By V. R. Ramachandra Dikshitar 1944. p. 103 -105).

Bow and Arrow:
In the words of H. H. Wilson:
"the Hindus cultivated archery most assiduously and were very Parthians in the use of the bow on horse-back."
One feature of this weapon was that it could be handled by all the four classes of warriors.
Frescos on the Angkor Wat depict scenes from the Hindu epics Mahabharata and Ramayana, showing Kshatriyas engaged in war.
For more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor
Other Weapons:
The Bindipala and the nine following are minor weapons of this class. Probably this was a heavy club which had a broad and bent tail end, measuring one cubit in length. It was to be used with the left foot of the warrior placed in front. The various uses of this weapon were cutting, hitting, striking and breaking. It was like a kunta but with a big blade. It was used by the Asuras in their fight with Kartavirya Arjuna.

The Nalika is a hand gun or musket rightly piercing the mark. It was straight in form and hollow inside. It discharged darts if ignited. As has been already said, Sukracarya speaks of two kinds of nalika, one big and the other small. The small one, with a little hole at the end, measured sixty angulas (ie. distance between the thumb and the little finger) dotted with several spots at the muzzle end.
Through the touch hole or at its breach which contained wood, fire was conveyed to the charge. It was generally used by foot-soldiers. But the big gun had no wood at the breach and was so heavy that it had to be conveyed in carts. The balls were made of iron, lead or other material. Kamandaka uses the word nalika in the sense of firing gun as a signal for the unwary king. Again in the Naisadha, a work of the medieval period, Damayanti is compared to the two bows of the god of love and goddess of love, and her two nostrils to the two guns capable of throwing balls.

Thus there is clear evidence of the existence and use of firing guns in India in very early times.

The Cakra, the next weapon in the category, is a circular disc with a small opening in the middle. It was of three kinds of eight, six and four spokes. It was used in five or six ways. It resembled the quoid of the Sikhs today. Lord Vishnu is popularly addressed as Sankha-cakra-gada-pani, that is having Sankha or conch, Cakra or disc, and Gada or mace in three of his four hands.The various uses of a disc were felling, whirling, rending, breaking, severing, and cutting. It is one of the instruments peculiar to Lord Vishnu. Kautalya speaks of it as a movable machine. The Cakra belongs to the category of a missile. According to the Vamanapurana, the Cakra has lustrous and sharp edges.

The Tomara is another weapon of war frequently mentioned in all kinds of warfare. It was of two kinds, an iron club (sarvayasam) and a javelin. . According to the Agni Purana it was to be with the help of an arrow of straight feathers, and was powerful in dealing blows to the eyes and hands of an enemy.
The Dantakanta, is another weapon of war, perhaps the shape of a tooth, made of metal, of strong handle and a straight blade. It had two movements.

The Pasa, which is a noose killing the enemy at one stroke, of two or tree ropes used as a weapon attributed to the god Varuna. It was triangular in shape and embellished with balls of lead. It was associated with three kinds of movements. In the Agni Purana are described eleven ways of turning it to one's own advantage by dexterity of hand.

The Masundi, was probably an eight sided cudgel. It was furnished with a broad and strong handle. It apparently comes from the root-meaning to cleave or break into pieces, and perhaps akin to the Musala.

All these and more found used in one battle or another both in the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.

Amukta Weapons

The first of the Amukta weapons was the Vajra or the thunderbolt. The origin of this weapon is given in the Rirthayatra portion of the Mahabharata. It was made out of the backbone of the Rishi Dadhici which was freely given by him to Indra. Originally perhaps it had six sides and made a terrible noise when hurled.
  • The Parasu is the battle-axe attributed to Parasu-rama, of great fame. Its blade was made of steel and it had a wooden handle. There were six ways of manipulating it to one's own advantage.
  • The Gada is a heavy rod of iron with one hundred spikes on the top. One of the four cubits was able to destroy elephants and rocks. It could be handled in twenty different ways. By means of gun powder it could be used as a projectile weapon of war. Its principal use was to strike the enemy either from a raised place or from both sides and strike terror into the enemy especially of the Gomutra array.
  • The Mudgara was a staff in the shape of a hammer. It was used to break heavy stones and rocks. This is again a movable machine according to Kautalya.
  • The Sira was a bucket-like instrument curved on both sides and with a wide opening made of iron. It was as long as a man's height. The Pattisa is a razor like weapon.
  • The Sataghni, literally means that which had the power of killing a hundred at a time. It looked like a Gada and is said to be four cubits in length. It is generally identified with modern cannon and hence was a projectile weapon of war.
    • "sataghni tu catustala lohakantaka samcita yastih! iti Kesavah."
    It was generally placed on the walls of a fort and is included among the movable machines by Kautalya.
  • Asi or the Swords - The best sword measured fifty inches. They were usually made of Pindara iron found in the Jangala country, black iron in the Anupa, white iron in the Sataharana, gold colored in the Kalinga, oily iron in the Kambhoja, blue-colored in Gujarat, grey-colored in the Maharashtra and reddish white in Karnataka. The aSi si also known as Nistrimsa, Visamana, Khadga, Tiksnadhara, Durasada, Srigarbha, Vijaya and Dharmamula, meaning respectively cruel, fearful, powerful, fiery, unassailable, affording wealth, giving victory, and the source of maintaining dharma. And these are generally the characteristics of a sword.

    It was commonly worn on the left side and was associated with thirty-two different movements. It measured 50 thumbs in length and four inches in width. In the Santi-parva (166,3 ff; 82 ff). Bhisma being asked as to which weapon in his opinion was the best for all kinds of fighting, replies that the sword is the foremost among arms (agryah praharananam), but the bow is first (adyam).
B.K. Sarkar says that the secret of manufacturing the so-called Damascus blade was learnt by the Saracens from the Persians, who, in their turn, had learnt it from the Hindus. Early Arabic literature provides us with a curious illustration of the esteem with which Indian swords were looked upon in Western Asia.
An early Arabic poet, Hellal, describing the flight of the Hemyarites, says:
"But they fled under its (ie. the clouds) small hail of arrows quickly, whilst hard Indian swords were penetrating them." and again: "He died and we inherited him; one old wide (cuirass) and a bright Indian (sword) with a long shoulder-belt."
(Hindu Achievements in Exact Science - By B. K. Sarkar p. 45).
Note: Hindus made the best swords in the ancient world, they discovered the process of making Ukku steel, called Damascus steel by the rest of the world (Damas meaning water to the Arabs, because of the watery designs on the blade). These were the best swords in the ancient world, the strongest and the sharpest, sharper even than Japanese katanas. Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Persians, Turks, and Chinese imported it.
The original Damascus steel - the world's first high-carbon steel - was a product of India known as wootz. Wootz is the English for ukku in Kannada and Telugu, meaning steel. Indian steel was used for making swords and armor in Persia and Arabia in ancient times. Ktesias at the court of Persia (5th c BC) mentions two swords made of Indian steel which the Persian king presented him. The pre-Islamic Arab word for sword is 'muhannad' meaning from Hind. So famous were they that the Arabic word for sword was Hindvi - from Hind.

Wootz was produced by carburizing chips of wrought iron in a closed crucible process.
"Wrought iron, wood and carbonaceous matter was placed in a crucible and heated in a current of hot air till the iron became red hot and plastic. It was then allowed to cool very slowly (about 24 hours) until it absorbed a fixed amount of carbon, generally 1.2 to 1.8 per cent," said eminent metallurgist Prof. T.R. Anantharaman, who taught at Banares Hindu University, Varanasi.
"When forged into a blade, the carbides in the steel formed a visible pattern on the surface."
To the sixth century Arab poet Aus b. Hajr the pattern appeared described 'as if it were the trail of small black ants that had trekked over the steel while it was still soft'. In the early 1800s, Europeans tried their hand at reproducing wootz on an industrial scale. Michael Faraday, the great experimenter and son of a blacksmith, tried to duplicate the steel by alloying iron with a variety of metals but failed.
Some scientists were successful in forging wootz but they still were not able to reproduce its characteristics, like the watery mark.
"Scientists believe that some other micro-addition went into it," said Anantharaman.
"That is why the separation of carbide takes place so beautifully and geometrically."
The crucible process could have originated in south India and the finest steel was from the land of Cheras, said K. Rajan, associate professor of archaeology at Tamil University, Thanjavur, who explored a 1st century AD trade centre at Kodumanal near Coimbatore. Rajan's excavations revealed an industrial economy at Kodumanal. Pillar of strength The rustless wonder called the Iron Pillar near the Qutb Minar at Mehrauli in Delhi did not attract the attention of scientists till the second quarter of the 19th century.
The inscription refers to a ruler named Chandra, who had conquered the Vangas and Vahlikas, and the breeze of whose valour still perfumed the southern ocean. "The king who answers the description is none but Samudragupta, the real founder of the Gupta empire," said Prof. T.R. Anantharaman, who has authored The Rustless Wonder. Zinc metallurgy travelled from India to China and from there to Europe. As late as 1735, professional chemists in Europe believed that zinc could not be reduced to metal except in the presence of copper.
The alchemical texts of the mediaeval period show that the tradition was live in India. In 1738, William Champion established the Bristol process to produce metallic zinc in commercial quantities and got a patent for it. Interestingly, the mediaeval alchemical text Rasaratnasamucchaya describes the same process, down to adding 1.5 per cent common salt to the ore. (source: Saladin's sword - By The Week - June 24, 2001 -

Artillery - India Taught Europe
Artillery was introduced into Europe by the Roma (Gypsies), who were none else than the Jats and Rajputs of India. This has been revealed in a study by a reputed linguist, Weer Rajendra Rishi, after an extensive tour of Roma camps in Europe.
He explains that the Romas, who are the Gypsies of Europe, also taught the use of artillery to Europeans. These Roma belonged to the Jat and Rajput clans who left India during the invasions by Mohamud Ghaznavi and Mohammad Ghori between the 10th and 12th centuries of the Christian era.

He says the use of artillery was known in Asia, notably in India, from time immemorial, while it was introduced to the Europeans much later.

Mr. Rishi reveals that the Roma had helped different countries of Europe in making artillery.
“Evidence of this is given as early as 1496 by a mandate of that date granted by Wadislas, King of Hungary, wherein it is said that Thomas Polgar, chief of 25 tents of wandering Gypsies had, with his people, made at Funfkirchen musket-balls and other ammunition for Bishop Sigismond.
“In 1546 when the English were holding Boulogne against the French the latter took the help of two experienced Romas of Hungary to make great number of cannons of greater caliber than earlier guns. The Hungarian Roma of the 16th century possessed fuller knowledge of fabricating artillery than the races of Western Europe.
There were also records that the Roma were employed as soldiers by some countries of Europe. Dr. W. R. Rishi, is the author of the book, Roma - The Panjabi Emigrants in Europe, Central and Middle Asia, the USSR, and the Americas - published 1976. Mr. Rishi is a well-known linguist of India and was awarded the honour of 'Padmashri' by the President of India in 1970 for his contributions in the field of linguistics. He is also the Founder Director of the Indian Institute of Romani Studies. (source: Diamonds, Mechanism, Weapons of War, Yoga Sutras - By G. R. Josyer. p. 179-182).
Indian Armour
To conclude with the words of Sir George Birdwood:
" For a variety, extent, and gorgeousness, and ethnological and artistic value, no such collection of Indian arms exists in this country (England) as that belonging to the Prince of Wales. It represents the armorer's art in every province of India, from the rude spear of the savage Nicobar islanders to the costly damascened, sculptured, and jewelled swords, and shields, spears, daggers, and match-locks of Kashmir, Kutch and Vizianagaram. The most striking object in the collection is a suit of armor made entirely of the horny scales of the Indian armadillo, or pangolin, encrusted with gold, and turquoise, and garnets." (source: The Industrial Arts of India pp. 171-2).

Martial Arts - Fighting without weapons
Fighting without weapons was a specialty of the Ksatreya (caste of Ancient India) and foot soldier alike.
Danger and Divinity: Originating at least 1,300 years ago, India's Kalaripayit is the oldest martial art taught today.
It is also one of the most potentially violent.
Weaponless but nimble, a karaipayit master displays for his students how to meet the attack of an armed opponent.
Watch Kalari Martial Arts and Silambam Martial Arts videos
"Fighting without weapons was a specialty of the Ksatreya (caste of Ancient India) and foot soldier alike. For the Ksatreya it was simply part and parcel of their all around training, but for the lowly peasant it was essential. We read in the Vedas of men unable to afford armor who bound their heads with turbans called Usnisa to protect themselves from sword and axe blows.

"Fighting on foot for a Ksatreya was necessary in case he was unseated from his chariot or horse and found himself without weapons. Although the high ethical code of the Ksatreya forbid anyone but another Ksatreya from attacking him, doubtless such morals were not always observed, and when faced with an unscrupulous opponent, the Ksatreya needed to be able to defend himself, and developed, therefore, a very effective form of hand-to-hand combat that combined techniques of wrestling, throws, and hand strikes.
Tactics and evasion were formulated that were later passed on to successive generations. This skill was called Vajramukhti, a name meaning "thunderbolt closed - or clasped - hands." The tile Vajramukti referred to the usage of the hands in a manner as powerful as the vajra maces of traditional warfare. Vajramukti was practiced in peacetime by means of regular physical training sessions and these utilized sequences of attack and defense technically termed in Sanskrit nata."
Kalaripayattu, literally “the way of the battlefield,” still survives in Kerala, where it is often dedicated to Mahakali. The Kalari grounds are usually situated near a temple, and the pupils, after having touched the feet of the master, salute the ancestors and bow down to the Goddess, begin the lesson. Kalari trainings have been codified for over 3000 years and nothing much has changed.

The warming up is essential and demands great suppleness. Each movement is repeated several times, facing north, east, south and west, till perfect loosening is achieved. The young pupils pass on to the handling of weapons, starting with the “Silambam”, a short stick made of extremely hard wood, which in the olden times could effectively deal with swords. The blows are hard and the parade must be fast and precise, to avoid being hit on the fingers!
They continue with the swords, heavy, and dangerous, even though they are not sharpened any more, as they are used. Without guard or any kind of body protection; they whirl, jump and parry, in an impressive ballet. Young, fearless girls fight with enormous knives, bigger than their arms and the clash of irons is echoed in the ground. The session ends with the big canes, favorite weapons of the Buddhist traveler monks, which they used during their long journey towards China to scare away attackers.

The “Urimi” is the most extraordinary weapon of Kalari, unique in the world. This double-edged flexible sword which the old-time masters used to wrap around the waist to keep coiled in one hand, to suddenly whip at the opponent and inflict mortal blows, is hardly used today in trainings, for it is much too dangerous.

This indigenous martial arts, under the name of Kalari or Kalaripayit exists only in South India today. Kalarippayat is said to be the world's original martial art. Originating at least 1,300 years ago, India's Kalaripayit is the oldest martial art taught today. It is also the most potentially violent, because students advance from unarmed combat to the use of swords, sharpened flexible metal lashes, and peculiar three-bladed daggers.
More than 2,000 years old, it was developed by warriors of the Cheras kingdom in Kerala. Training followed strict rituals and guidelines. The entrance to the 14 m-by-7 m arena, or kalari, faced east and had a bare earth floor. Fighters took Shiva and Shakti, the god and goddess of power, as their deities. From unarmed kicks and punches, kalarippayat warriors would graduate to sticks, swords, spears and daggers and study the marmas—the 107 vital spots on the human body where a blow can kill. Training was conducted in secret, the lethal warriors unleashed as a surprise weapon against the enemies of Cheras.

Father and founder of Zen Buddhism (called C’han in China), Boddidharma, a Brahmin born in Kacheepuram in Tamil Nadu, in 522 A.D. arrived at the courts of the Chinese Emperor Liang Nuti, of the 6th dynasty. He taught the Chinese monks Kalaripayattu, a very ancient Indian martial art, so that they could defend themselves against the frequent attacks of bandits. In time, the monks became famous all over China as experts in bare-handed fighting, later known as the Shaolin boxing art.
The Shaolin temple which has been handed back a few years ago by the communist Government to the C’han Buddhist monks, inheritors of Boddhidharma’s spiritual and martial teachings, by the present Chinese Government, is now open to visitors. On one of the walls, a fresco can be seen, showing Indian dark-skinned monks, teaching their lighter-skinned Chinese brothers the art of bare-handed fighting.
On this painting are inscribed:
“Tenjiku Naranokaku” which means: “the fighting techniques to train the body (which come) from India…”
Kalari payatt was banned by the British in 1793. (source: The Boddhisattva Warriors: The Origin, Inner Philosophy, History and Symbolism of the Buddhist Martial Art Within India and China - By Terence Dukes/ Shifu Nagaboshi Tomio p. 3 - 158-174 and 242. A Western Journalist on India: a ferengi's columns - By Francois Gautier Har-Anand Publications January 2001 ISBN 8124107955 p. 155-158).

Silambam – Indian Stick Fighting
The art Nillaikalakki Silambam was brought to the royal court
during the reign of the Cheran, Cholan and Pandian emperors, once powerful rulers of India.
Watch Kalari Martial Arts and Silambam Martial Arts videos
The art Nillaikalakki Silambam, which exists for more than five thousand years, is an authentic art which starts with the stick called Silambamboo (1.68 meters long). It originates from the Krunji mountains of south India, and is as old as the Indian sub-continent itself.

The natives called Narikuravar were using a staff called Silambamboo as a weapon to defend themselves against wild animals, and also to display their skill during their religious festivals. The Hindu scholars and yogis who went to the Krunji mountains to meditate got attracted by the display of this highly skilled spinning Silambamboo. The art Nillaikalakki Silambam therefore became a part of the Hindu scholars and yogis training, as they were taught by the Narikuravar.

They brought the art to the royal court during the reign of the Cheran, Cholan and Pandian emperors, once powerful rulers of India.
(source: Silamban – Indian Stick Fighting).
Army and Army Divisions

The Game of Chess and the Four-Fold Force
Owing to peculiar geographical features, with her vast plains interspersed with forests, the ancient Indian States had to make extensive use of mounted forces which comprised cavalry, chariots, and elephants. This does not mean that infantry was neglected. Hindu India possessed the classical fourfold force of chariots, elephants, horsemen, and infantry, collectively known as the Caturangabala.
Students also know that the old game of chess also goes by the name of Caturanga. Chess is a game of war, and in each game there are a king, a councilor, two elephants, two horses, two chariots, and eight foot-soldiers. From the references to this game in the Rg Veda and the Atharva Veda and in the Buddhists and Jaina books, it must have been very popular in ancient India. The Persian term Chatrang and the Arabic Shatrang are forms of the Sanskrit Chaturanga.

The famous epic Mahabharata narrates an incidence where a game called Chaturang was played between two groups of warring cousins. In some form or the other, the game continued till it evolved into chess.
H.J.R. Murray, in his work titled “A History of Chess”, has concluded that,
“chess is a descendant of an Indian game played in the 7th century AD”. The Encyclopedia Britannica states that “we find the best authorities agreeing that chess existed in India before it is known to have been played anywhere else.”
On the whole the board is 8 X 8 squares. According to Taylor, the game of chess was the invention of some Hindu who devised a game of war with the astapada board as his field of battle. From the reference to the game in the Rig Veda and the Arthava Veda and in the Buddhist and Jaina books, it must have been very popular in ancient India. It is to be noted that the relative values of the chess pieces were analogous to or identical with the relative values of different arms as laid down by Kautalya, Sukra, and Vaisampayana.
The organization of the Indian army which came to be known as Caturanga, both in epic Sanskrit and Pali literature, was based on the ancient game.

The Chariots
Chariots were used in warfare from very remote times. There are many references to chariots in the Samhitas and in the Brahmanas. The chariot was an indispensable instrument of war in the days of the Vedas, and on its possession depended victory. In the Rg Veda there is a hymn addressed to the war chariot: ' Lord of the wood, be firm and strong in body: be bearing as a brave victorious hero.
Show forth thy strength, compact with straps of leather and let thy rider win all spoils of battle.' Chariots were of different types and materials. In the Ramayana and the Mahabharata their use is largely in evidence. Each chariot was marked off by its ensign and banner. Besides flags, umbrellas (chattra, atapatra), and fans were a part of the paraphernalia of the war chariot.
Sukra mentions an awe-inspiring chariot of iron with swift-moving wheels, provided with good seats for the warriors and a seat in the middle for the charioteer; the chariot was also equipped with all kinds of offensive and defensive weapons.
Warrior Arjuna with Krishna - driving the chariot in the epic The Mahabharata.

The Bhagavad Gita has influenced great Americans from Thoreau to Oppenheimer.
Its message of letting go of the fruits of one’s actions is just as relevant today as it was when it was first written more than two millennia ago.
The conception of the sun-god in Indian tales is of value to the student of ancient Indian military history. The idea is that the sun-god wants to destroy darkness. Therefore he dons a lustrous armor and marching in his swift flying chariot drawn by seven powerful steads, Aruna (dawn) being his charioteer. The whole image presents a life-like portrait of the military dress as well as the march against an enemy.

The next important force of war consisted of elephants. The numerous representations of the animal on coins and in architectural sculptural works from Gandhara to Ramesvaram as well as bronze figures in Indonesia are an indication of the esteem in which it was held by the ancient Indians, clearly on account of its usefulness.
An Elephant Armour: An important force of war consisted of elephants.
There is a reference in the Rg Veda to two elephants bending their heads and rushing together against the enemy, which is a fairly early reference to the animal being used in war. By the time of the Yajur Veda Samhita the art of training elephants had become common. The Arthasastra mentions a special officer of the State for the care of elephants and lays down his duties.
Megasthenes explains how the elephants were hunted, and how their distempers were cured by simple remedies such as cow's milk for eye-disease and pig's fat for sores. A Jataka story throws some light on how fire-weapons were used in ancient India.
"Once a king mounted on an elephant and led an attack on the city of Benares. The soldiers who offered defenses from within the city gates discharged a shower of missiles against the enemy at which the elephant was frightened a little."
The use of burning naphtha balls thrown against on rushing elephants to frighten them and make them turn back on their own side, is mentioned by early Mohammadan historians as a feature of the warfare between the Rajputs and the Turkish invaders from the North-West. (Elliot and Dowson, vol. I).

We hear from the Kautaliya and Megasthenes that
there was a well-organized and efficient cavalry force in the army of Chandragupta.
In the ArthaVeda we hear of dust-raising horsemen.
We hear from the Kautaliya and Megasthenes that there was a well-organized and efficient cavalry force in the army of Chandragupta. In the ArthaVeda we hear of dust-raising horsemen. In this connection it is interesting to consider the oft-repeated statement that horses are non-Indian. It is not the whole truth. They were known to the Asuras of Vedic literature. There is a legend narrated in the third book of the Hariharacaturanga (though this is work of the late 12th century A.D., the tradition recorded is very ancient). In the epoch of the epics and the Arthasastra, we find that the cavalry occupied as important a place in the army as any other division.

Megasthenes corroborates the evidence of the Arthasastra. There was a special department in the State for the cavalry. The horses of the State were provided with stables and placed under the care of good grooms and syces. There were several trained horsemen who could jump forward and arrest the speed of galloping horses. But the majority of them rode their horses with bit and bridle. When horses became ungovernable they were placed in the hands of professional trainers who made the animals gallop round in small circles. In selecting horses of war, their age, strength, and size were taken into account.
We may remark in passing that Abhimanyu's horses were only three years old.
How important the science of horses was to the ancient Indians is best seen from the Laksanaprakasa which quotes from several important old authorities some of which are probably lost to us. Among them are the Asvayurveda and Asvasastra, the former attributed to Jayadeva and the latter to Nakula. Both the Puranas and the epics agree that the horses of the Sindhu and Kamboja regions were the finest breed and that the services of the Kambojas as cavalry troopers were requisitioned in ancient wars.
In the Mahabharata war the Kambojans (Cambodians) were enlisted. The steeds of Bahalika were also highly esteemed. Horses had names and so did elephants. Unlike the chariot horse, the cavalryman drove his animal with a whip which was generally fixed to the wrist. This allowed his hand free play. The cavalryman was armed with arrow or spear or sword. He wore breastplate and turban (unsnisa). Worth noting is the fact that horses were made to drink wine before actually marching to battle.

The tactical use of the cavalry was to break through the obstacles on the way, to pursue the retreating enemy, to cover the flanks of the army, to effect speedy communication with the various parts of the army unobserved (bahutsara) and to pierce the enemy ranks from the front to the rear. The cavalry was responsible, in a large measure, for the safety and security of the army in entrenched positions, forests or camps. It obstructed movements of supplies and reinforcements to the enemy. In short, the cavalry was indispensable in situations requiring quickness of movement.


The next important division of the army was the infantry, or foot-soldier. The Arthasastra speaks of the infantry as a separate army department under the charge of a special officer of the State. This receives confirmation from Megasthenes statement. Besides the maula or hereditary troops which formed a considerable portion of the army, there were,
  • the bhrta or mercenaries
  • the sreni or soldiers supplied by the different group and guild organizations
  • the mitra or soldiers supplied by allies
  • the amitra or deserters from the enemy ranks
  • the atavi recruited from forest tribes
According to the Sukraniti and the Kamandakanitsara, the army was to be made as imposing as possible to frighten the enemy by its size. The Agni-purana says that victory ever attends the army where foot-soldiers are numerically strong.

The Sukraniti also mentions that foot-soldiers possessed fire-arms when they fought.
When these foot-soldiers equipped themselves for war Arrian says that,
'they carry a bow made of equal length with the man who bears it. This they rest upon the ground and pressing against it and their left foot, thus discharge the arrow having drawn the string backwards: the shaft they use is little short of being three yards long, and there is nothing which can resist an Indian Archer's shot - neither shield nor breast-plate, nor any stronger defense if such there be.'
In their left hand they carry bucklers made of undressed ox-hide which are not so broad as those who carry them but are about as long. If we turn to the ancient nations and especially the ancient Egyptians we meet with almost a similar description.

The Commissariat
The Caturanaga was a classical division of the army accepted by tradition. But in the epoch of the epic we hear of a Sadanga or the six-fold army, including commissariat and admiralty. The use of commissariat can be traced to the epic age. This belonged to the category of administrative division of troops as against the combatant. We are told that this division of the army into two categories was first seen in the battle of Mansikert (1071 A.D.)

But, centuries before, the Indian army leaders had realized the value of such a division. It is said that when the Pandava army marched to Kurukshetra it was followed by 'carts and transport cars, and all descriptions of vehicles, the treasury, weapons and machines and physicians and surgeons, along with the few invalids that were in the army and all those that were weak and powerless. This was purely a civil department attached to the army. Care was also given to wounded animals.

The numerous references in our authorities to the Commissariat demonstrate beyond doubt that wars were planned methodically and conducted systematically.

The Admiralty
The Admiralty as a department of the State may have been a creation of Chandragupta but there is evidence to show that the use of ships and boats was known to the people of the Rig Veda. In the following passage we have reference to a vessel with a hundred oars.
"This exploit you achieved, Asvins in the ocean, where there is nothing to give support, nothing to rest upon, nothing to cling to, that you brought Bhujya, sailing in a hundred-cared ship, to his father's house." (refer to Naval warfare section).

There is no special word in Sanskrit for a 'a map.' There is, however, reason to believe that in ancient India a map or chart was regarded as a citra or alekhya, i.e., 'a painting, a picture, a delineation'. That maps were made in ancient India seems to be quite clear from the evidence of the New History of the T'ang Dynasty which gives an account of the Chinese general Wang Hiuen-tse's exploits in India in the year 648 A.D.

With reference to the knowledge of map-making among the people of India, especially the Dravidians of the South:
"The charts in use by the medieval navigators of the Indian Ocean - Dravidas, Arabs, Persians, were equal in value, if not superior, to the charts of the Mediterranean. Marco Polo (1498) found them in the hands of his Indian pilot, and their nature is fully explained in the Mohit or 'the Encyclopaedia of the Sea'"

Hindu Valor

The Hindus were declared the by the Greeks to be the bravest nation they ever came in contact with. (source: History of India - by Mountstuart Elphinstone p. 197).

It was the Hindu King of Magadha that struck terror in the ever-victorious armies of Alexander.
Abul Fazal, the minister of Akbar, after admiring their noble virtues, speaks of the valor of the Hindus in these terms:
“Their character shines brightest in adversity. Their soldiers (Rajputs) know to what it is to flee from the fields of battle, but when the success of the combat becomes doubtful, they dismount from their horses and throw away their lives in payment of the debt of valor.”
Francois Bernier, a 17th century traveler says that:
“The Rajputs embrace each other when on the battlefields as if resolved to die.”
The Spartans, as is well known, dressed their hair on such occasions. It is well known that when a Rajput becomes desperate, he puts on garments of saffron color, which act, in technical language, is called kesrian kasumal karna (donning saffron robes). (source: Hindu Superiority - By Har Bilas Sarda p. 79 - 91).
Aerial Warfare
“The ancient Hindus could navigate the air, and not only navigate it, but fight battles in it like so many war-eagles combating for the domination of the clouds. To be so perfect in aeronautics, they must have known all the arts and sciences related to the science, including the strata and currents of the atmosphere, the relative temperature, humidity, density and specific gravity of the various gases...”

~ Col. Henry S Olcott (1832 – 1907)
American author, attorney, philosopher, and cofounder of the Theosophical Society in a lecture in Allahabad, in 1881.
"No question can be more interesting in the present circumstances of the world than India’s contribution to the science of aeronautics. There are numerous illustration in our vast Puranic and epic literature to show how well and wonderfully the ancient Indians conquered the air.
To glibly characterize everything found in this literature as imaginary and summarily dismiss it as unreal has been the practice of both Western and Eastern scholars until very recently. The very idea indeed was ridiculed and people went so far to assert that it was physically impossible for man to use flying machines. But today what with balloons, airplanes…..”
Turning to Vedic literature, in one of the Brahmanas occurs the concept of a ship that sails heavenwards. The ship is the Agnihotra of which the Ahavaniya and Garhapatya fires represent the two sides bound heavenward, and the steersman is the Agnihotrin who offers milk to the three Agnis. Again in the still earlier Rg Veda Samhita we read that the Asvins conveyed the rescued Bhujya safely by means of winged ships. The latter may refer to the aerial navigation in the earliest times.

In the recently published Samarangana Sutradhara of Bhoja, a whole chapter of about 230 stanzas is devoted to the principles of construction underlying the various flying machines and other engines used for military and other purposes.
The ancient Hindus could navigate the air, and not only navigate it,
but fight battles in it like so many war-eagles combating for the domination of the clouds
The various advantages of using machines, especially flying ones, are given elaborately. Special mention is made of their use at one’s will and pleasure, of their uninterrupted movements, of their strength and durability, in short of their capability to do in the air all that is done on earth. Three movements are usually ascribed to these machines, - ascending, cruising thousands of miles in different directions in the atmosphere and lastly descending.
It is said that in an aerial car one can mount up to Suryamandala, ‘solar region’ and the Naksatra mandala (stellar region) and also travel throughout the regions of air above the sea and the earth. These cars are said to move so fast as to make a noise that could be heard faintly from the ground. The evidence in its favor is overwhelming.

An aerial car is made of light, wood looking like a great bird with a durable and well-formed body having mercury inside and fire at the bottom. It had two resplendent wings, and is propelled by air. It flies in the atmospheric regions for a great distance and carries several persons along with it. The inside construction resembles heaven created by Brahma himself.
Iron, copper, lead and other metals are also used for these machines. All these show how far art and science was developed in ancient India in this direction. Such elaborate description ought to meet the criticism that the vimanas and similar aerial vehicles mentioned in ancient Indian literature should be relegated to the region of myth.

The ancient writers could certainly make a distinction between the mythical which they designated as daiva and the actual aerial wars designated as manusa.

After the great victory of Rama over Lanka, Vibhisana presented him with the Puspaka vimana which was furnished with windows, apartments, and excellent seats. It was capable of accommodating all the vanaras besides Rama, Sita and Lakshman. Again in the Vikramaurvaisya, we are told that king Puraravas rode in an aerial car to rescue Urvasi in pursuit of the Danava who was carrying her away.
Similarly in the Uttararamacarita in the flight between Lava and Candraketu (Act VI) a number of aerial cars are mentioned as bearing celestial spectators. There is a statement in the Harsacarita of Yavanas being acquainted with aerial machines. The Tamil work Jivakacintamani refers to Jivaka flying through the air.

Kathasaritsagara refers to highly talented woodworkers called Rajyadhara and Pranadhara. The former was so skilled in mechanical contrivances that he could make ocean crossing chariots. And the latter manufactured a flying chariot to carry a thousand passengers in the air. These chariots were stated to be as fast as thought itself. (source: India Through The Ages: History, Art Culture and Religion - By G. Kuppuram p. 532-533).

For more information refer to Vymanika Shashtra.


The foregoing survey may convince an impartial student of history that the ancient Hindus had evolved precepts on fair fighting which formed a chivalrous code of military honor.
On the whole, however, it would seem that wars in ancient India were characterized by less violence and savagery than wars elsewhere. There is no recorded instance of such wanton and cold-blooded atrocity as Athens perpetrated against Melos, Corcyra and Mytilene, or the wearers of the Cross against the defenders of the Crescent in 1099 A.D. Such incidents of war as the indiscriminate slaughter of all men of military age or the enslavement of women and children of the conquered state were hardly known. On the whole, the chiefs were considerate of each other's rights.

This was also the Kautilyan ideal of dharmavijayan, and the typical Hindu method of creating unity out of diversity in the political sphere. It was a well-established maxim of statecraft that a victor should acquiesce in the continuance of the laws, beliefs and customs of the vanquished peoples, and that instead of seeking to extermination of the defeated dynasties, he should be content with submission and tribute. It is also the reason why some of the princely families in India can boast of an ancestry unequalled by any royal house in Europe.

It is of paramount importance to remember that in India the social, economic and religious life of the people pursued their course irrespective of the activities of the state. As early as as the 4th century B.C. Megasthenes noticed a peculiar trait of Indian warfare.
"Whereas among other nations it is usual in the contests of war to ravage the soil, and thus to reduce it to an uncultivated waste, among the Indians, on the contrary, by whom husbandmen, the tillers of the soil, even if battle is raging in the neighborhood, are undisturbed by any sense of danger, for the combatants on either side, in waging the conflict, make carnage of each other but allow those engaged in husbandry to remain quite unmolested. Besides they never ravage an enemy's land with fire nor cut down its trees."
The modern "scorched earth" policy was then unknown.

Professor H. H. Wilson says:
"The Hindu laws of war are very chivalrous and humane, and prohibit the slaying of the unarmed, of women, of the old, and of the conquered."
At the very time when a battle was going on, be says, the neighboring cultivators might be seen quietly pursuing their work, - " perhaps ploughing, gathering for crops, pruning the trees, or reaping the harvest." Chinese pilgrim to Nalanda University, Hiuen Tsiang affirms that although there were enough of rivalries and wars in the 7th century A.D. the country at large was little injured by them.

Colonel James Tod, author of Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan: or the Central and Western Rajput States of India (April 1998) wrote:
"To spare a prostrate foe is the creed of the Hindu cavalier, and he carried all such maxims to excess."
What were the causes which led to the downfall of the Hindus? Why did the Indian states fall prey to the Muhammadan Turks in the 11th and 12th century?

King Asoka wanted to convert his empire into an open-air Buddhist monastery, at the expense of Hindu taxpayers whose interests in turn were marginalized. Buddhist principles derided martial prowess and criminally neglected the intrepidity and valor which fought for national independence. The excessive propaganda for unrestricted ahimsa which King Asoka carried on by his use of political authority throughout his empire, cut at the very root of the Indian empire.

For a few generations following Ashoka's demise, 'non-violent' Buddhists ate into the vitals of India's external defense, leaving the country vulnerable to a second wave of Greek attacks.

According to Priyadarshi Dutta:
"The Greeks, who had concluded a treaty with Chandra-gupta Maurya, moved in to Ayodha before the Kalinga King Kharvela repulsed them. Later Pushyamita Sunga assassinated the last Maurya King and salvaged India. Buddhism vanished from India as a result of Muslim onslaught because none of them had the liver of the likes of say, Guru Govind Singh. While Hindus and Sikhs resisted Muslim onslaught, Buddhist submitted en mass to Islam."
The Hindu defenders of the country although fully equal to their assailants in courage and contempt of death were nevertheless, divided among themselves. This division and disunion also enabled the crafty Turk invaders from the north to exploit the differences within the country. Hindus were more civilized and prosperous than the Turks. Moreover, the Turks had rude rigor of a semi-civilized barbarians who combined the fierce religious zeal of neo-converts. To spread their faith by conquest doubled their natural zest for battle and endowed them with the devoted valor of martyrs. In addition, the concept of ahimsa tended to create in certain sections of Hindus a deep abhorrence to all forms of violence.

The Bhagavad Gita's great message: that violence is sometimes necessary, if it flows from Dharma.

Non-violence in thought, word and deed is the ideal of the yogi, as the Gita points out. Violence is never an ideal in a civilized society, but it cannot be avoided. Rulers of society have to employ it for their preservation. Even this terrible action can be performed as selfless service when lawless societies (eg. Muhammadan Turks or Europeans who came to India as invaders) prey upon others out of greed.
The Bhagavad Gita's great message: that violence is sometimes necessary, if it flows from Dharma

For a warrior, nothing is higher than a war against evil.
The warrior confronted with such a war should be pleased, Arjuna, for it comes as an open gate to heaven.
But if you do not participate in this battle against evil, you will incur sin, violating your dharma and your honor....

- Bhagavad Gita 2.31-33

Books -


Sailors of Sixty Centuries

Yukikalpataru, a Sanskrit manuscript compilation by Bhoja Narapati, which manuscript is now in the Calcutta Sanskrit College Library, is something like a treatise, on the art of shipbuilding in Ancient India.

It gives, according to Vriksha-Ayurveda (“Botany”), an account of four different kinds of wood. The first class comprises wood, that is light and soft, and can be joined to any other wood. The second class is light and hard, but cannot be joined to any other class of wood. The third class of wood is soft and heavy. Lastly the fourth kind is hard and heavy. According to Bhoja, a ship made out of the second class of wood, brings wealth and happiness. Ships of this type can be safely used for crossing the oceans. Ships made out of timbers containing different properties are not good, as they rot in water, and split and sink at the slightest shock.

Bhoja says that care should be taken that no iron be used, in joining planks, but they be subjected to the influence of magnetism, but they are to be fitted together with substances other than iron. Bhoja also gives names of the different classes of ships:
  • River-going ships –Samanya
  • Ocean-going ships – Visesa
The measurements in cubits of the “Ordinary class” of ships are the following:

Bhima, Bhaya, Garbhara are liable to bring ill-luck because their dimensions are such as not to balance themselves in water.

Among the “Special” are two classes.
1. Dirgha
2. Unnanta

Lota, Gamini, Plavini, Anurddhava, Gharbhini, Manthara bring misfortune, because of their dimensions, and Urddhva much gain.

The “Yaktikalpataru” also suggests the metals to be used in decorations, eg. Gold, silver, copper, and compounds of all three as well as the colors. A vessel with four masts is to be painted white, the one with three masts is to be given a red paint, a two masted vessel is to be colored yellow, and a one masted vessel is to have a blue color. The prows are to be shaped into the form of heads of lions, buffalos, serpents, elephants, tigers, ducks, pea-hens, parrots and human beings, thus arguing an advanced progress in carpentry. Pearl and gold garlands are to decorate the prows.

Three classes of Ships
According to cabins, ships are to be grouped into three classes: Sarvamandira ships, having the largest cabin, from one end of the ship to the other. These are to be used for the transportation of the royal treasury, of women and horses. Madhyamandira ships, with cabins in the rainy season. Ships with cabins near the prows, are called Agramandira, and are for sailings in the dry seasons as well as for long voyages, and naval warfare.
It was in these ships, that the first naval battle recorded in Indian literature, was fought, when Tugra, the Rishi King, sent his son Bhujyu against his enemies inhabiting some Island, and Bhujya on being wrecked, was rescued by two Asvins, in their hundred oared gallery. Of the same description are the five hundred vessels, mentioned in the Ramayana.

Carried 1000 Passengers
In Rajavalliya, the ship in which Prince Vijaya and his followers were sent away by King Sinhala of Bengal, was large enough to accommodate seven hundred passengers. The ship in which Prince Vijaya’s bride was conveyed to Sri Lanka, was big enough to accommodate eight hundred people of the bride’s party. The ship which took Prince Sinhala to Sri Lanka contained five hundred merchants besides the Prince himself.
The Janaka Jataka mentions a ship-wreck of seven hundred passengers. The ship by which was effected the rescue of the Brahmin mentioned in Sankha Jataka was 800 cubits in length, 600 cubits in width, 20 fathoms deep, and had three masts. The ship mentioned in the Samuddha Vanija Jataka was big enough to transport a village full of absconding carpenters, numbering a thousand, who had failed to deliver goods paid for in advance.

Early History
An ancient couplet betrays the spirit with which the Indians were imbued and which accounts for their wonderful achievements on land, beyond seas and across mountain barriers. There is indeed evidence to show that the sons of the soil were adept at navigation both riverine and oceanic. Right from the dawn of history, therefore, Indians have been engaged in plying boats and ships, carrying cargoes and passengers, manufacturing vessels of all types and dimensions, studying the stars and winds, erecting light-houses and building ports, wharfs, dockyards and warehouses.
From rustic beginnings they developed a precise science of navigation and composed regular manuals as well as elaborate treatises on the subject, some of which survive to this day. It is noteworthy that the very term navigation is derived from nau, which in Sanskrit word for ‘ship’ or ‘boat’. Thus navi gatih ‘going in a boat’ amounts to ‘navigation’.

Literary Evidence
Sanskrit literature is full of references to river transport and sea voyages. Sometimes we have graphic descriptions of fleets, even of ship-wrecks. The Rig-Veda is taken as the earliest extant work of the Aryans, though there is no general agreement as to its exact age. At one place, Rishi Kutsa Angirasa prays to Agni:
“Remove our foes as if by ship to the yonder shore. Carry us as if in a ship across the sea for our welfare.”
In Ramayana: In Valmiki’s Ramayana, we come across beautiful descriptions of large boats plying on the Ganga near Sringiberapura. King Guha of that place arranges a magnificent boat for Rama accompanied by Lakshman and Sita, in exile, to enable the party to cross the river.When Bharat comes later to the same place, with the whole royal household, citizens of Ayodhya and a large army, with the intention of bringing Rama back to Ayodhya from exile, the same King Guha, suspecting Bharata’s intentions, take precautionary measures by ordering five hundred ships, each manned by one hundred youthful mariners to keep in readiness, should resistance be necessary.

The descriptions of the ships is noteworthy:
“Some (of the ships) reared aloft the swastika sign, had tremendous gongs hung, flew gay flags, displayed full sails and were exceedingly well built”
The ships chosen for Bharata and the royal ladies of the royal household had special fittings and furniture as well as yellow rugs.

In Mahabharata
In the Mahabharata too there are many references. The ship contrived by Vidura for the escape of Pandavas had some kind of mechanism fitted in it: “the ship strong enough to withstand hurricanes, fitted with machinery and displaying flags.” Panini, who lived about the 7th century B.C. in his Ashtadhyayi, the most commented upon work on Sanskrit grammar, has incidentally recorded certain usages which reflect in a way the maritime activity before and during his days in India.
According to one sutra various types of small river craft were in use, and their names were utsagna, udupa, udyata, utputa, pitaka etc. A large boat was called Udavahana or udakavahana. Of special interest is the distinction made between the cargoes coming from an island near the coast and those coming from mid-ocean islands: the former were called dvaipya, and the latter dvaipa or dvaipaka. Certain other sutras speak of ferry chages, cargoes, marine trade and the like of those days.
Chandragupta Maurya’s minister, Vishnugupta Chanakya alias Kautilya, the celebrated author of the treatise on statecraft, Kautilya Arthasastra, of about 320 B.C. devotes a full chapter to waterways under a Navadhyaksha ‘Superintendent of ships’. His duties included the examination of accounts relating to navigation, not only on oceans and mouths of rivers, but also on lakes, natural or artificial, and rivers.
Fisheries, pearl fisheries, customs on ports, passengers and mercantile shipping, control and safety of ships and similar other affairs all came under his charge. Jaina scriptures, Buddhist Jatakas and Avadanas, as well as classical Sanskrit literature, abound in references to sea-voyages. They acquaint us with many interesting details as to the sizes and shapes of ships, their furniture, and decorations, articles of import and export, names of seaports and islands, in short, everything connected with navigation.

Temples Give Proof
In the temple of Jagannath at Puri, a stately barge is sculptured in relief. The oarsmen paddle with all their strength, the water is thrown into waves, and the whole scene is one of desperate hurry. The boat is of the Madhyamandira type, as defined by Bhoja in the “Yuktikalpataru”. The Ajanta paintings are rightly interpreted by Griffiths as a "vivid testimony to the ancient foreign trade of India." Of the many paintings one is of “a sea-going vessel with high stem and stern with three oblong sails attached to as many upright masts.
Each masts is surrounded by a truck and there is carried a big sail. The jib is well filled with wind. A sort of bowspirit, projecting from a kind of gallows on deck is indicated with the outflying jib, square in form,” like that of Columbus ships. The ship is of the Agramandira type, as described in the “Yuktikalpataru”. Another painting is of a royal pleasure boat which is,
“like the heraldic lymphad, with painted eyes at stem and stern, a pillard canopy amid ships, and an umbrella forward the steersman being accommodated on a sort of ladder, which remotely suggest the steerman’s chair, in the modern Burmese row boats, while a rower is in the bows.”
The barge is of the Madhyamandira type.

Sculpture at Borobudur
The temple of Borobudur in Java contains sculptures recalling the colonization of Java by Indians. One of the ships “tells more plainly than words, the perils, which the Prince of Gujarat and his companions encountered on the long and difficult voyages from the west coast of India.” There are other ships tempest-tossed on the Ocean, fully trying to pluck and dexterity of the oarsmen, sailors, and pilots, who, however, in their movements and looks impress one with the idea, that they were quite equal to the occasion.

What Historian say: Nicolo Conti says:
"The natives of India build some ships larger than ours, capable of containing 2,000 butts, and with five sails and as many masts. The lower part is constructed with triple planks, in order to withstand the force of the tempests, to which they are much exposed. But some ships are so built in compartments, that should one part be shattered, the other portion remaining whole may accomplish the journey."
Mr. J. L. Reid, member of the Institute of Naval Architects and Shipbuilders, England and the Superintendent of the Hongli Docks, has stated:
“The early Hindu astrologers are said to have used the magnet as they still use the modern compass, in fixing the north and east, in laying foundations, and other religious ceremonies. The Hindu compass was an iron fish, that floated in a vessel of oil, and pointed, to the north. Fact of this older Hindu compass seems placed beyond doubt by the Sanskrit word “maccha-yantra.”
India’s extensive Sea-borne Trade: The historian Strabo says that in the time of Alexander, the River Oxus was so easily navigable that Indian wares were conducted down it, to the Caspian and the Euxine sea, hence to the Mediteranean Sea, and finally to Rome. Greeks and Indians began to meet at the newly established sea ports, and finally all these activities culminated in Indian embassies, being sent to Rome, from several Indian States, for Augustus himself says that Indian embassies came “frequently.” Abundant Roman coins from Augustus right down to Nero, have been found in India.

Archaeologist’s Testimony
Archaeology amply supports literary record. Excavations at Mohenjodaro on the Indus have yielded, among other things, a potsherd and couple of steatite, seals each bearing a representation of a boat or a ship incised on it. By far the most substantial proof is afforded by the discovery of a dockyard at Lothal in Gujarat.

The eminent Indian archaeologist Dr. Bahadur Chand Chhabra concludes:
“It may be a surprise even to an Indian today to be told that in the ancient world India was in the forefront in the field of shipping and ship-building. Her ships, flying Indian flags, sailed up and down the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and far beyond to Southeast Asia. Her master-mariners led the way in navigation. Riverine traffic within the country, shipping along the entire length of India’s coastline, and on high seas were brisk until as recently as the days of the East India Company.
Owing however, to historical competition by the British, ancient Indian shipping was wiped out without a trace. No wonder then the common man in India today readily believes that Indians are not only now learning the ABC of navigation. It would have been odd indeed if, bounded on three sides by great oceans, and gifted with a remarkable spirit of enterprise and invention, India had registered no advancement in the sphere of navigation while she had gone far in other arts and sciences. (source: Hindu America: revealing the story of the romance of the Surya Vanshi Hindus and depicting the imprints of Hindu culture on the two Americas - By Chaman Lal with foreword by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan. 3d ed. (LC History-America-E) 1966).

U.S. adopts catamaran technology
Washington May 28.
The United States adopted ancient Indian catamaran-making technology to construct fast ships which were used with dramatic effect in the Iraq war, says a media report.

Among the equipment the Americans used to win the Iraq war were 100-feet catamaran ships to ferry tanks and ammunition from Qatar to Kuwait.

The ships, built with technology adapted from ancient Tamil methods to make catamarans, can travel over 2,500 kms in less than 48 hours, twice the speed of the regular cargo ships, and carry enough equipment to support about 5,000 soldiers, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

Having a shallow draft, the boats can unload in rudimentary ports, allowing troops to land closer to the fight. — PTI
(source: U.S. adopts Indian Catamaran technology - and
Sailing down the seas of history
Charting the coastline from Mumbai to the very end of Gujarat, where India ends and Pakistan begins, the 1,000 nautical mile voyage that will end on February 11 is in preparation for another, more ambitious voyage. The sailors, calling themselves the Maritime Exploration and Research Group, is getting ready to follow the path of ancient Indian mariners from south India all the way to Indonesia.

Inspired by the Chola kings of the 11th century, who discovered the present-day Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Bali, the group is preparing to replicate the feat using traditional instruments and a boat resembling the vessels of yore.

Called the Simulation of Chola Navigation Techniques, the forthcoming expedition will attempt to cover the distance between Nagapatnam in southern India and the Indonesian islands. "The expedition will aim to show that our ancient seafarers were in no way inferior to their Western counterparts," said B. Arunachalam, a researcher who is the moving spirit behind the expedition. The expedition has cost the team members nearly Rs.100,000 but they have received substantial assistance from the Indian Navy.
(source: Sailing down the seas of history -

India defense looks to ancient text
Indian scientists are turning to an ancient Hindu text in their search for the secrets of effective stealth warfare.

They believe the book, the Arthashastra, written more than 2,300 years ago, will give Indian troops the edge on their enemies.

India's Defence Minister George Fernandes has approved funding for the project, and told parliament recently that experiments had begun. The research is being carried out by experts from the Defence Research and Development Organisation and scientists from the University of Pune and National Institute of Virology in western India. The book includes the recipe for a single meal that will keep a soldier fighting for a month, methods of inducing madness in the enemy as well as advice on chemical and biological warfare.
Powders and remedies
The book was written by military strategist Kautilya, also known as Chanakya and Vishnugupta, a prime minister in the court of India's first emperor Chandragupta Maurya, in the fourth century BC.

"All of us are excited about the possibilities and do not for a moment think that the idea is crazy," said Professor SV Bhavasar, a space scientist who has spent many years researching the Arthashastra.

"Decoding ancient texts is not an easy task but we are very hopeful of success," he added. According to a Pune University report, the book says that soldiers fed with a single meal of special herbs, milk and clarified butter can stay without food for an entire month.

Shoes made of camel skin smeared with a serum made from the flesh of owls and vultures can help soldiers walk hundreds of miles during a war without feeling tired. A powder made from fireflies and the eyes of wild boar can endow soldiers with night vision.
(source: Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan: or the Central and Western Rajput States of India - By Colonel James Tod).
Chemical warfare
Kautilya wrote in the Arthashastra that a ruler could use any means to attain his goal, and Book XIV touches on aspects of chemical and biological warfare.

The book says that smoke from burning a powder made from the skin and excreta of certain reptiles, animals and birds can cause madness and blindness in the enemy. The book also provides the formula to create a lethal smoke by burning certain species of snakes, insects and plant seeds in makeshift laboratories.
"Our focus at present is on how humans can control hunger for longer durations and walk for longer period without experiencing fatigue, Project leader Dr V S Ghole, head of the environmental engineering department of Pune university, said the team was now focusing on the methods of controlling hunger and increasing stamina.

"Once we have made some headway we will go into researching Kautilya's notes on night vision and other fields," he said. Professor S V Bhavasar said the team also had plans to research other ancient Hindu texts. These include manuscripts which "claim to provide secrets of manufacturing planes which can not be destroyed by any external force, could be motionless in the sky and even invisible to enemy planes."

Did You Know?
Gun powder (Agnicurna) and Ancient Hindus
- Sir A. M. Eliot tells us that the Arabs learnt the manufacture of gunpowder from India, and that before their Indian connection they had used arrows of naptha. It is also argued that though Persia possessed saltpetre in abundance, the original home of gunpowder was India. It is said that the Turkish word top and the Persian tupang or tufang are derived from the Sanskrit word dhupa. The dhupa of the Agni Purana means a rocket, perhaps a corruption of the Kautaliyan term natadipika.
(source: Fire-Arms in Ancient India - By Jogesh Chandra Ray I.H.Q. viii. p. 586-88).
- Heinrich Brunnhofer (1841-1917) German Indologist, also believed that the ancient Aryans of India knew about gunpowder.
(source: German Indologists: Biographies of Scholars in Indian Studies writing in German - By Valentine Stache-Rosen. p.92).
- Gustav Oppert (1836-1908) in his work, Political Maxims of the Ancient Hindus, says, that ancient India was the original home of gunpowder and fire-arms. It is probable that the word Sataghni referred to in the Sundara Kanda of the Ramayana refers to cannon.
(source: Hindu Culture and The Modern Age - By Dewan Bahadur K.S. Ramaswami Shastri - Annamalai University 1956 p. 127).
- Professor Horace Hayman Wilson says:
“Amongst ordinary weapons one is named vajra, the thunderbolt, and the specification seems to denote the employment of some explosive projectile, which could not have been in use except by the agency of something like gunpowder in its properties.”

"The Hindus, as we find from their medical writings, were perfectly well acquainted with the constituents of gun-powder - sulphur, charcoal, saltpetre - had them all at hand in great abundance. It is very unlikely that they should not have discovered their inflammability, either singly or in combination. To this inference a priori may be added that draws from positive proofs, that the use of fire as weapon of combat was a familiar idea, as it is constantly described in the heroic poems."
(source: Essays and lectures on the religions of the Hindus - H H Wilson vol. II p. 302)
It is very unlikely that they should not have discovered their inflammability, either singly or in combination. To this inference a priori may be added that drawn from positive proof, that the use of fire as a weapon of combat was a familiar idea, as it is constantly described in the heroic poems.”

The testimony of ancient Greek writers, who, being themselves ignorant of fire-arms used by Indians, give peculiar descriptions of the mode of Hindu warfare is significant.
“Themistius mentions the Brahmin fighting at a distance with lightning and thunder.”
Goddess Kali at war
Alexander, in a letter to Aristotle, mentions,
“the terrific flashes of flame which he beheld showered on his army in India.”
(See Dante’s Inferno, XIV, 31-7).
Speaking of the Hindus who opposed Alexander, Lord Elphinstone says:
“Their arms, with the exception of fire-arms, were the same as at present.” (source: History of India - by Mountstuart Elphinstone p. 241).
Philostratus thus speaks of Alexander’s invasion of the Punjab:
“Had Alexander passed the Hyphasis he never could have made himself the master of the fortified habitations of these sages. Should an enemy make war upon the, they drive him of by means of tempests and thunders as if sent down from Heaven. The Egyptian Hercules and Bacchus made a joint attack on them, and by means of various military engines attempted to take the place. The sages remained unconcerned spectators until the assault was made, when it was repulsed by fiery whirlwinds and thunders which, being hurled from above, dealt destruction on the invaders.” (source: Philostrati Vit: Apollo, Lib II. C. 35).
Commenting on the stratagem adopted by King Hal in the battle against the king of Kashmir, in making a clay elephant which exploded, H M. Elliot says:
“Here we have not only the simple act of explosion but something very much like a fuse to enable the explosion to occur at a particular period.” (source: The History of India, as told by its own Historians - By H. M Elliot volume I. p. 365).
Though the Hindu masterpieces on the science of war are all but lost, yet there is sufficient material available in the great epics and the Puranas to prove that fire-arms were not only known and used on all occasions by the Hindus, but that this branch of their armory had received extraordinary development. In medieval India, of course, guns and cannons were commonly used. In the 12th century we find pieces of ordnance being taken to battle fields in the armies of Prithviraj.
In the 25th stanza of Pritviraja Rasa it is said that,
“The calivers and cannons made a loud report when they were fired off, and the noise which issued from the ball was heard at a distance of ten cos. An Indian historian, Raj Kundan Lall, who lived in the court of the King of Oudh, says that there was a big gun named lichhma in the possession of His Majesty the King (of Oudh) which had been originally in the artillery of Maharaja of Ajmer. The author speaks of a regular science of war, of the postal department, and of public roads. “Maffei says that the Indians far excelled the Portuguese in their skill in the use of fire-arms.”
Another author quoted by Peter Von Bohlen (1796-1840) German Indologist, speaks of a certain Indian king being in the habit of placing several pieces of brass ordnance in front of his army.
“Faria-e-Souza speaks of a Guzerat vessel in A.D. 1500 firing several guns at the Portuguese, and of the Indians at Calicut using fire vessels in 1502, and of the Zamorin’s fleet carrying in the next year 380 guns.”(source: Hindu Superiority - By Har Bilas Sarda p. 355-360).
In the light of the above remarks we can trace the evolution of fire-arms in the ancient India. There is evidence to show that agni (fire) was praised for vanquishing an enemy. The Arthava Veda shows the employment of fire-arms with lead shots. The Aitareya Brahmana describes an arrow with fire at its tip. In the Mahabharata and Ramayana, the employment of agnyastras is frequently mentioned, and this deserves careful examination in the light of other important terms like ayah, kanapa and tula-guda.

The agnicurna or gunpowder was composed of 4 to 6 parts of saltpetre, one part of sulphur, and one part of charcoal of arka, sruhi and other trees burnt in a pit and reduced to powder. Here is certain evidence of the ancient rockets giving place to actual guns in warfare. From the description of the composition of gunpowder, the composition of the Sukraniti can be dated at the pre-Gupta age.
(source: War in Ancient India - By V. R. Ramachandra Dikshitar 1944. p. 103 -105).
Medhatithi remarks thus,
"while fighting his enemies in battle, he shall not strike with concealed weapons nor with arrows that are poisoned or barbed on with flaming shafts."
Sukraniti while referring to fire-arms, (agneyastras) says that before any war, the duty of the minister of war is to check up the total stock of gunpowder in the arsenal. Small guns is referred as tupak by Canda Baradayi. The installation of yantras (engines of war) inside the walls of the forts referred to by Manasollasa and the reference of Sataghni (killer of hundreds of men) pressed into service for the protection of the forts by Samaranganasutradhara clearly reveals the frequent use of fire arms in the battle-field. (source: India Through The Ages: History, Art Culture and Religion - By G. Kuppuram p. 512-513).

The use of gunpowder, first invented and used in India as an explosive mixture of saltpetre, sulfur and charcoal to power guns, cannons and artillery.source: How to Read the Timeline Hinduism Today).

H.H. Eliot, Foreign Secretary to the Government of India (1845), after discussing the question of the use of fire-arms in ancient India, says:
"On the whole, then, we may conclude that fire-arms of some kind was used in early stages of Indian history, that the missiles were explosives....that projectiles were used which were made to adhere to gates and buildings, and machines setting fire to them from a considerable distance; that it is probable that saltpetre, the principal ingredient of gunpowder, and the cause of its detonation, entered into the composition, because the earth of Gangetic India is richly impregnated with it in a natural state of preparation, and it may be extracted from it by lixiviation and crystallization without the aid of fire; and that sulphur may have been mixed with it, as it is abundant in the north-west of India."(source: Historians of M India - Bibliographical Index. Vol. I p. 373).
Horace Hayman Wilson wrote:
"Rockets appear to be of Indian invention, and had long been used in native armies when Europeans came first in contact with them." "It is strange that they (rockets) should now be regarded in Europe as the most recent invention of artillery."
(source: Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan: or the Central and Western Rajput States of India - By James Tod South Asia Books; ; 2 edition (April 1998) ISBN 8120803809 Vol. II p. 220 and (source: Historians of M India - Bibliographical Index. Vol. I p. 373 and 357).

Images of Some Weapons
Maharatha weapons

Nepal weapons

Central India weapons

India - Persia weapons