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Vaimānika Shāstra

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The Vaimānika Śāstra (वैमानिक शास्त्र, lit. "shastra on the topic of Vimanas"; or "science of aeronautics", sometimes also rendered Vimanika, Vymanika, Vyamanika) is an early 20th-century text in Sanskrit. It makes the claim that the vimānas mentioned in ancient Sanskrit epics were advanced aerodynamic flying vehicles. The existence of the text was revealed in 1952 by G. R. Josyer who asserted that it was written by Pandit Subbaraya Shastry (1866–1940), who dictated it during the years 1918–1923. A Hindi translation was published in 1959, while the Sanskrit text with an English translation was published in 1973. It contains 3000 shlokas in 8 chapters which Shastry claimed was psychically delivered to him by the ancient Hindu sage Bharadvaja. The text has gained favour among proponents of ancient astronauts. A study by aeronautical and mechanical engineering researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, in 1974 concluded that the aircraft described in the text were "poor concoctions" and that the author showed a complete lack of understanding of aeronautics. Regarding the "Rukma Vimana", the study noted, "If the craft is taken to mean what the drawing and the text say, it can be stated that the craft is a decided impossibility".
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