UFOs and the Vedic Literatures of Ancient India
by Richard Thompson
There is an intriguing relationship between modern UFO reports and the descriptions of the residents of other planets found in the Vedic literatures of ancient India. It turns out that there are many similarities between the modern and Vedic accounts. According to the Vedic literatures there are many inhabited planets throughout the universe and in many cases the residents of these planets possess various kinds of psychic powers and various degrees of mechanical technology. It is interesting to note that we also find these same kinds of descriptions in the modern UFO literature. I will begin by describing some mystical means of travel described in the Vedas and comparing these to modern UFO reports.
In the Mahabharata it is described that a great warrior and mystic named Arjuna was travelling on a road in outer space called the Devayana (the roadway of the demigods). He was riding on a chariot pulled by horses, but as we shall soon discover, these are not ordinary horses nor is it an ordinary chariot. Later I shall describe them and it is clear that they have many similarities to the kinds of space craft described in the modern UFO reports. We have information about the road he was riding on from a Vedic literature called the Vishnu Purana. In the Vishnu Purana the Devayana and another road called the Pitriyana are described and the positions of these roads are given in terms of star positions. The Devayana corresponds to the Milky Way -- a bright band of stars which is visible on a clear night.
In another Vedic literature called the Srimad Bhagavatam it is mentioned that mystics travel on the Milky Way in their progressive journey to higher planets or completely out of this material universe and into the transcendental realm. The Vedas describe the material realm as consisting of many roughly spherical universes. Within each universe there are many inhabited planets. In addition, the concentric shells which cover each universe are also inhabited. The residents within each universe are unable to leave that universe by ordinary material means such as space ships or rockets because material space as we know it ceases to exist after one crosses the shell corresponding to the space element. This idea is similar to one cosmographical conception in modern physics based on Einstein's general theory of relativity in which space is thought to curve back on itself in such a way that one can not escape from this universe. In other words, if you travel in a rocket in one direction away from the earth, then because the space time continuum is curved, you would, after a sufficiently long time of travel, return to the earth! According to this conception, there is no possibility for you to find out what might exist outside this universe.
In the vedic conception, each universe is bounded by shells which consist of progressively finer elements. The first shell is very gross -- it corresponds to the solid state of matter. The next shell corresponds to the liquid state of matter. The next is composed of the element of effulgence or in the language of modern physics, electromagnetic radiation. The next is made of an element which corresponds to the gaseous state of matter. Then the 5th shell is composed of the element of space itself, and the layers outside of it are composed of elements even more subtle than space itself.
Now getting back to our description of the celestial road called the Devayana, we find that the Vedas describe it also as the akash ganga or celestial Ganges River. It is interesting to note that there are traditions from various cultures throughout the world that identify the Milky Way as a path used by mystics, in other words a celetial path. The Cherokee Indians of America consider the Milky Way to be the pathway of the departing souls, and the Chinese have a description of a celestial river which corresponds to the Milky Way.
In the Vedas (SB 2.2.24) it is described that the mystics are travelling over the Milky Way by the "illuminating Susumna" which is a beam of radiant energy comming from the sun - but it is not a beam of ordinary light. It is exciting to compare this with modern UFO accounts of people travelling along beams of radiant energy. There are many reports of this type - here is a typical case. In a canyon called Tijunga Canyon which is near Los Angeles, California, a woman reported that she walked out of her house in the usual way, but then she found herself being transported upwards on a beam of radiant energy! It was carrying her upwards at about the same angle as an escalator. The difference was that an escalator has steps and ridges whereas this woman reported that the only thing transporting her up was a beam of light! In addition to the motive power of the beam, she was also able to walk up along it using her feet. She was walking with her friends.
There are many reports like this from various places - the basic theme is a beam of radiant energy with a number of persons walking on it. Now, this also fits in with Arjuna's travel on the Devayana which corresponds to the Milky Way.
It is also interesting to consider his chariot. Earlier we mentioned that it bears more resemblance to a UFO than the standard construction of a horse-drawn chariot. Here is a description of the chariot he used at the battle of Kuruksetra 5000 years ago in India: The chariot radiated light and reverberated with a deep rumbling sound. Although it is described as having a definite structure, one could not see exactly what its shape is.
Its beauty was so great that it captivated the minds of all who saw it. In modern UFO reports people often use similar language to describe the strange craft they see. One can not quite see what the shape is and it is radiating light. But it has a definite structure nonetheless.
In the UFO reports there are various descriptions of beings who walk through space, but let us also consider Arjuna's horses that were running through space. First of all, we note that Arjuna received them from a resident of another planet called Gandharvaloka where all the residents have superhuman powers. Not only this planet, but many other planets such as Siddhaloka are described as being inhabited by beings far superior to humans in either mechanical technology, psychic powers or even a combination of both. The horses are described as giving off a wonderfully beautiful fragrance, capable of travelling at the speed of the mind and capable of changing color and appearing and disappearing at will. Moreover, the horses come to their owner simply by his telepathic command and they always act according to his desire. Obviously they are not ordinary horses.
By comparison we note that in the modern UFO reports people often describe beings who are able to appear and disappear abruptly at will right before their eyes. One such case involves a man named Maurice Maset who was a farmer around the 1950s in France near a town called Valensol. He was an ordinary man and not in the habit of making up strange stories. It is reported that one day an oval-shaped craft floated down and landed on his field. Several small man-like beings came out of the craft and floated through the air while travelling. Maurice Maset said that they slid along beams of radiant effulgence. Then they slid back into their craft. The craft flew up a short distance into the air and then vanished right before his eyes. All of a sudden it disappeared. It left marks on his field.
Thus we see a strong similarity between modern UFO reports and reports found in the Vedas. In particular, we see a similarity of travel along radiant beams. In effect, Arjuna was travelling along a road of radiant energy in the stars.
In the Vedas there are descriptions of yogis travelling along paths in the sky. Actually, this is just one of the various mystic or psychic powers possessed by the yogis and various other residents of the higher planets.
In addition to these types of travel, the Vedas describe self propelled flying machines called vimanas. Some are in fact flying cities! According to the Ramayana, Ravana's capital was a floating city. In Srimad Bhagavatam it is described that a great mystic named Kardama Muni created an entire floating city in which he and his wife toured around the universe. In the tenth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam it is stated that a king name Salva enlisted the aid of an expert technologist named Maya Danava who lives on a different planet called Bila Svarga. Maya Danava built an entire flying city for Salva. Among other wonderful qualities it possessed the following:
A special navigation system for seeing at night, high speed capability to avoid detection from the ground, and the ability to become either completely invisible or to appear as if there were many copies of it flying in the sky. This is another case of being able to appear or disappear suddenly.
Of course the Vedas describe various kinds of weapons and it is interesting to note that there is a description of a kind of weapon called the brahmastra that is ammazingly similar to the modern nuclear weapons. In fact, it is superior in the respect that it can be directed to kill only one person in contrast to the modern nuclear weapons which kill thousands of innocent perople indescriminately. The brahmastra is created and directed by sound vibration. Only highly qualified persons know the art of invoking the brahmastra.
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