Looking to the Past for Building future Aircraft
 Kavya Valluri

As we grapple with climate change, increasing energy needs and cleaner technologies, the world needs out-of-the-box solutions. Our past can provide us with solutions to many of our problems if we only look intently into it. Vimana Shastra that has been long ridiculed is one of those ancient sciences that can provide solutions for problems of the future

What if we can travel in flying machines that require no fuel? What if there are aircraft designs that can accommodate ten times more passengers than conventional designs? What if we have aircraft that are so flexible that their area can be changed as per flight needs? What if our spacecraft can be propelled to outer space and back at a fraction of the costs of present technology? What if our electricity woes can be solved at a very low cost?
Well, the answers to all these questions could be hidden in our past, but it is we who have not put the required efforts to study and explore the ancient science. Centuries of colonial education and decades of shaming our past has no doubt made us be in contempt of our ancient sciences, but it has also made us forget the technologies that our forefathers used and explored. From water conservation and farming techniques to space exploration, there was nothing that was untouched by our Rishis. Though we have lost most of the original materials of our ancient technologies, not all is lost. Indic researchers and scientists who are looking for future solutions without being prejudiced are painstakingly many times at the cost of personal comforts, are trying to re-discover and revive many of our ancient sciences.
One among such scientist is Kavya Valluri (aka Kavya Vaddadi), an Aeronautical Engineer who is trying to revive the ancient science of Vimana Shastra authored by Maharshi Bharadwaja. Her research into the ancient aeronautical science has revealed many secrets that can change the life of man in the near future. Kavya Valluri is also an author, Design Engineer, CFD analyst in Vaddadi Engineering Design and Analysis Services (VEDAS) Company and Head of Education & Awareness, Ancient Technology Division at Maarks Aerospace and Marine Services.
While most Aeronautical Engineer’s dream of a career in top airplane builders or NASA, Kavya was attracted to Vimana Shastra ever since she came to know that Shivkar Bapuji Talpade was the first person to fly contrary to the popular belief that it was the wright brothers of America. From then on she has been investigating how foreigners took away our Vedic texts and how precious Vimana Shastra is. Her investigations have revealed that even NASA has referred to Vimana Shastra. Based on her investigations, she is now building working aircraft models based on it.

Is Vimana Shastra All Hoax?

As aircraft builders research and explore new ways to ferry passengers, increase passenger strength per flight, reduce fuel consumption and carbon footprint, it is natural to wonder if we can have alternatives to fuel-based airplanes. Kavya Valluri who is exploring Vimana Shastra spoke to Organiser and explained how Vimana Shastra will help our flight technologies and future travel.
“Present aircraft and spacecraft technology seem nascent compared to Vimana Shastra. Vedic texts mention that there are 500 principles of spaceflight. We can develop anti-gravity technology without the use of fuel. It will be surprising to know that there is no mention of fuel in Vimana Shastra. The technology mentioned here is so advanced that they have used Sun Crystal in the designs which I studied in Rukma Vimana descriptions. The Sun Crystal is much more advanced than the modern Solar Panel, as it can absorb energy and even multiply the energy which will give power to an entire 100ft wide and 100ft height Vimana. Sun crystal uses very advanced procedures designed perfectly for space missions. Modern solar panel for planes are still to reach such advancement”, she says.
If Sun Crystals have been researched and mentioned in the Vimana Shastras, how did we lose such knowledge? Why did not any institution think of studying it and explore new possibilities? Kavya says that this has happened due to our own neglect. “Our ancient ancestors had conducted more experiments and research than us. Hitler’s anti-Gravity device was inspired from Rig Veda descriptions of Vimanas. Similarly, many foreigners have taken knowledge from Vimana Shastra but have modified the designs and dimensions to claim it as their own. But we Indians ourselves have neglected our own ancient knowledge.”
This is not just talking in the air. While many aeronautical engineers have acknowledged the designs in Vimana Shastra as worth exploring, Kavya has recorded them in her book ‘Reverse Engineering Vedic Vimanas’. She says, “Many such technological wonders are hidden in our ancient texts in coded language in Sanskrit. I have been trying to decode such knowledge and it takes a lot of effort and time. I have re-translated and interpreted many such coded shlokas to English. I have recorded my research in this book.”
Despite the evidences, there has been a condescending attitude over our ancient science, especially Vimana Shastra. There are many naysayers who doubt everything from our ancient technologies. Many have even questioned the antiquity of Maharshi Bharadwaja's work and called it pseudo-science. The 1974 IISC Paper on Vymanika Shastra is used as reference. When asked how she answers such critics, Kavya says, “I have come across many such criticisms. Before the invention of landline phones, if a person is introduced to the cell phone, he/she will not know how to use it. Likewise, Vimana Shastra has technologies which people don’t understand now. When IISC paper came out, even scientists did not know the advanced technologies mentioned in it. As technology develops, we can try to understand better. However, my research has been appreciated and have received many letters of appreciation from various experts in this field such as former NASA, ISRO and DRDO scientists”.
Speaking on the lack of knowledge in our Shastras and Sanskrit, she says, “Many of such criticisms against Vimana Shastra are based on wrong or mis-translations. No proper investigations were done, the references mentioned in Vimana Shastra also were not referred and those who criticised did not even know the complete Sanskrit language and the multiple forms of meanings in it”, stressing on the need to be thorough in Sanskrit to research the Shastras.

Modern Flight Analysis and Vimana Shastra

Most naysayers say that ancient flight technologies do not conform to modern flight analysis. However, most of these would not have taken the trouble to create designs mentioned in Vimana Shastra and test it for flight analysis. When asked if functional capabilities of the models in Vimana Shastra can be justified through modern flight analysis and mathematical deductions, Kavya says that they can certainly be justified.
“I have been working on creating a workable design despite lack of resources. I have recreated 3D models of several Vimanas. I have also done computational fluid dynamics (CFD), Structural analysis and Thermal analysis of these models using software for their flying capabilities, and the forces that will act on them. I have shared my findings with many scientists and their feedback has been positive. In fact, I recreated Talpade’s Marutsakha Vimana and a 3D printed model of the same was tested in California University by the Aircraft Systems Engineer and telecast in History Channel. The Vimana was tested in the laboratory for its flying capabilities and dimensions. All results were found to be positive.”
GR Joyser’s English translation of 1952 is still used as the reference to the Vimana Shastra. There had been no real efforts to understand the text in Sanskrit before declaring it as pseudo-science. But researchers like Kavya Valluri are bridging this gap and have come up with new findings. Talking on the new findings she has discovered in her research since Joyser's translation, she says “I have made many new discoveries over Joyser’s translation and all my research and findings are mentioned in my book ‘Reverse Engineering Vedic Vimanas’. In my book, I mention new interpretations of Sanskrit shlokas with their technical meaning, focusing on topics such as Manufacturing, Tactical Air Defence, Aerial Wars, UFO’s, Aliens, Aerodynamics, Structures, Propulsion, space mechanics, Antigravity technology and Vimana prototypes.
I discovered that Nikola Tesla’s patent on air vehicle was also inspired from Vimana Shastra. I also discovered that Hitler’s anti-gravity vehicle was inspired by the Ganapa Yantra mentioned in the Vimana Shastra. I have also discovered that Mercury ion Propulsion, Electromagnetic Propulsion which NASA used in its space vehicles has been used by ancient ancestors long back and is also mentioned in Vimana Shastra. These Vimanas have electromagnetic devices that use the earth’s electromagnetic field to lift off the ground and does not require any other fuel.
My research on Pushpaka Vimana revealed that it is a very advanced innovative design technology where the Vimana is flexible, expandable and a multi-storied aircraft connected by pillars which have foldable links mechanism. The structure is such that we can increase and decrease the space based on need”.

Lack of Support for Research and Analysis

Despite all this research and findings, institutional and government support for her work has been few and far between. Though she has received encouragement from former ISRO, DRDO, NASA scientists, no government or government organisations are supporting her initiatives. “Unfortunately, though foreigners are valuing our ancient Shastras, we Indians are not valuing anything that has its origin in our Vedas. Anything that is deemed Hindu is neglected. The fact is that these texts never belong to a specific religion but it belongs to our own ancient ancestors who once had advanced science and technology. We lost many of these texts and foreigners have been using most of it and we are just following them.”, says Kavya.
However, there are many who are interested in research into Vimana Shastra. Kavya and her team have formed SWASTIK (Scientific Works on Advanced Space Technology Investigators for Knowledge) where all those who wish to study and research in Vimana Shastra are welcome. Many students of Aeronautics and engineers from other branches, foreigners who are genuinely interested to research on Vimana Shastra have approached her already. “I get a lot of support from VEDAS Company (Vaddadi Engineering Design and Analysis Services). I also have approached the Department of Space and HRD too. I am yet to receive a favourable response from them”, she says.

Benefits of Vimana Shastra to the Common Man

Research into the future of flight technologies will require lots of effort and money too. In a country that is still grappling with many societal problems, it is natural to look for the benefits for the common man from any research. So how would research into Vimana Shastra benefit the common man? Or is it just a fantasy of a few who are enamoured of our heritage?
To this, Kavya says that Vimana Shastra is not only about flying machines. Many of the designs, devices and materials etc. mentioned in it can be used to make our lives better. “For example, Vimana Shastra mentions Sun crystals. If we are able to design a Sun crystal, then we can solve our electricity woes. Then there are the heat-resistant materials that can be used for many purposes. Vimana Shastra also has references to the purification of metals, chemicals and materials. Vimana Shastra provides a lot of scope for research in Aeronautical Engineering and students can make use of it.”
Further, she says that ancient aerospace technology is very vast and there are many things to explore in it. “Vimana yantras (Devices), procedures and techniques of energy extraction from the outer space regions and many such advanced technologies is mentioned in Vimana Shastra. It will be very useful for us in future space missions if we can explore and understand Vimana Shastra.”
Along with the benefits and funding such infinitives, the governments will also have to understand that ancient sciences like Vimana Shastra are our heritage and have to be safeguarded. “I think it is high time for Bharat to realise its technology. People from abroad and outside universities come to meet me and have given many offers. But I have not given away my core research as I want it to remain with us and not be taken away by foreigners. We have already lost a huge chunk of our knowledge to foreigners and I don’t want what that to happen again”, says Kavya.
We are our identity and our identity will be safeguarded in the future if we only respect our ancient knowledge and heritage. Sciences like Vimana Shastra are our heritage and despite being lampooned, there is a lot to learn and benefit from it. Having suffered from colonial education for centuries, it is not possible to appreciate our ancient sciences immediately. The least we can do is to support researchers like Kavya and her team. Who knows, we may soon be flying to the outer space and back at the cost of a Rajdhani express trip from Bengaluru to New Delhi.