In his Anti-Gravity Handbook, David Childress describes the imaginary aircraft of prehistoric India this way:
Does it surprise anyone at this point that there is little truth to this?
The vimana-as-UFO myth is a case of "alternative" scholars misunderstanding the development of Hindu mythology while accepting without question false texts as true. Discussed chronologically, the mystery of the vimanas vanishes.
The word vimana means "that which was measured out." The word was first applied to the palace of the monarch, and from that to temples. Because temples are the houses of the gods, the Hindu gods' palaces could also be called vimanas. Thus, the large, flying chariots of the Hindu gods could also be vimanas. In the oldest texts, the Vedas, these were drawn by flying horses, like the chariot of the sun god in most Indo-European cultures (see, for example, the myth of Phaethon). In later epics, beginning with the Ramayana (c. 500 BCE), the chariots lost their horses and were depicted as flying on their own. The very first of these is the flying chariot of the earthly king Ravana called Pushpaka. By the time of the Mahabharata (c. 400 BCE), these flying chariots had grown in size--one was now described as 12 cubits in circumference--but they never lost the large wheels that marked them as derived from earthly horse-drawn chariots.
The concept of these flying chariots as UFO-style airships originates in a fraud, the Vaimanika Shastra, allegedly an ancient Sanskrit epic, but one "channeled" from the astral realm by a Hindu psychic in 1918. No evidence of this text exists prior to 1952, and even the "translator" of the text makes explicit that it was channeled from the spirit world between 1918 and 1923. The fake text specifically compares the vimanas to modern aircraft, describing their propulsion systems and other modern technological achievements.
Alternative theorists and ancient astronaut theorists embraced the text as a genuine, ancient text and thus Childress, in his Vimana Aircraft of Ancient India & Atlantis take it for proof of ancient aeronautics. Careful scholar that he is, he also missed the fact that it was a "channeled" "astral" text and instead claimed that it "was first reported to have been found in 1918...the genuineness...cannot be ignored" (pp. 37-38). He dated the text to between 400 BCE and 1000 CE. For ancient astronaut theorists, this was pretty close. By the time of the Anti-Gravity Handbook (2003), cited above, this treatise had morphed into "a fourth century B.C. text" "rediscovered in a temple in India" in "1875" (p. 131).
As for that UFO from the quotation that started this blog post: Guess what? Childress says it's from the Ramayana, but it's actually a poor paraphrase derived from a 1914 summary of the Ramayana in Myths of the Hindus & Buddhists, as copied by James Churchward in The Children of Mu (1945)--one of Childress's favorite sources:
As always, reality is a little different. Here is one passage describing Pushpaka from the actual Ramayana in a standard translation:
Elsewhere it is described as being filled with fruit trees, and sometimes it is drawn by geese.
Do you know many UFOs with "plastered terraces" and red paint?
4/25/2012 06:31:55 am
Did you know if you punch David Childress in the head jam comes out. FACT!
8/18/2014 06:36:46 pm
Though am not convinced either way about the "realness" of the Vimaana, have domne some analysis on what it could have been. Please see my post in http://thoughtchariot.wordpress.com/
11/25/2015 10:20:10 am
I am sorry to tell you that i do know that in ramayana tge pushpaka vimana was a plane used to kidnap sita to lanka from india.Sun god having a flying chariot is however true and he is said to have golden chariot with seven horses.This horses must travel together for this chariot to go forward.In support to the theorist i say to me seven horses of sun seems like seven colors in sunlight.Don't mock me.When newton says something everybody approves when some even older saints say it,they gets mocked.Sun god is not infact a god.God is mensioned as parabhrahm while sun,moon,saturn(shani),jupiter(brihaspathi),venus(shukra) are all said to be devas,meaning celesial or cosmic entities.so you better work a little more harder to mock some authentic books like vymanika shastra.English men gave the year 1912 as the date for the book.i have to ask though who the hell gave this people the only right to authenticate something.You guys are so retarded.Instead of appreciating the east you seem to be too jealous to admit it.It is also worth noting that the west bearly evolved into sapiens while the east was already filled with metropolitan cities like Mohan jo daro and Sumeria.Google it if you want.Retards
12/21/2015 10:43:17 am
My friend, calm down. No one is mocking the Ramayana. It is a magnificent work of world literature. No one is even mocking the putative translator of the Vaimanika Shastra who at least acknowledges that his work isn't ancient and has no historical authenticity, beyond that commonly accorded to visionary testimony. What people are mocking is the man who attempts to make cultural capital out of these texts, by misconstruing them in order to fit a preconceived notion, irrespective of the texts true meaning. This is a form of cultural vandalism which damages the integrity of the original texts, particularly texts like the Ramayan, by implying that they are not the artistic craftsmanship of great writers but instead the scattered, uncomprehending recollections of the ignorant. That is not appreciation of the East. That is appropriation of the East to fulfill a retrograde, racist agenda. This website attempts to liberate and exonerate texts from the false charges idiots masquerading as scientists lay at their door. Basically, mate, Jason's on your side if you could relax enough to realise it.
4/3/2016 04:17:40 pm
Brings joy to my heart to read your post. Roger Williams quote, if I may. "Common sense, is not so common." This ancient topic become more and more vital in the modern (tech) era. Why is it that countries with diminishing oil reserves will not take serious this unlimited power issue and dig, dig, dig. I really could save us all.
4/3/2016 04:07:12 pm
I find nagging issues all across the board on this historic line. I agree with "rcaugust" that the west twists history to its own advantage. BUT what remains of the issue, how can we turn it back to that reality the world CAN see? it appears that in the years around 300 tp 500 AD things got twisted. There is a reason Constantine chose the Christian God stuff over the other religions. How can we (all of us) bring humanity back into the real light of history?
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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