Ancient sciences exhibition –
The exhibition accompanying the symposium on `Ancient Sciences through Sanskrit’ on Sunday created a stir, with representatives of one of the invited teams claiming that a helmet left behind on Mars was proof of aviation capabilities of ancient Indians, and that cows possessed a bacteria that turned anything it consumed into gold. On Saturday, the same venue had hosted talks by a Nobel Laureate and a molecular biology professor.Kiran Naik, along with three colleagues from the International Indian University in Khedbramha, Gujarat, was demonstrating the Institute’s Veda-inspired anti-hail and anti-fog rockets that run on sugar. Surrounded by illustrations of Vedic verses on aviation, Naik claimed that a helmet found on Mars was proof of ancient India’s aviation technologies.

“In the Mahabharata, two kings were fight ing on Mars when the helmet of one of them fell off.Now, if we Google `Helmet on Mars’, you will get a full description with photographic evidence, published by NASA,“ said Naik, who teaches Vedic sciences and aviation.He also claimed that a bacteria found in cows could turn anything it consumed into gold. “The cow carries a bacteria in its body. Whatever it consumes will turn it into 24-carat gold. This bacteria is known to NASA also,“ Naik said.

One of the books exhibited by the Indian Institute of Scientific Heritage (Thiruvananthapuram) claimed the Vedas proved scientific demerits of non-vegetarian food.

Not all visitors were impressed. “While one must always investigate and critically look at the foundations of science in ancient India, it’s quite another thing to claim that all domains of scientific research ever achieved in modernity actually came from ancient India. In my opinion, some of these displays are antihistorical and counter the very spirit of scientific inquiry,“ said Arvindhan Nagarajan, a research scholar at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

Jan 05 2015 : Mirror (Mumbai)
Talk on ancient Indian aviation technologies goes ahead at ISC: ‘Exhaust pipes like elephant trunks, virus-proof space suits’
The symposium on `Ancient Sciences through Sanskrit’ went ahead at the Indian Science Congress (ISC) on Sunday despite controversies, with its coordinator, Mumbai University professor Gauri Mahulikar, rejecting claims that pseudo-science was being popularised through a lecture on ancient Indian aviation technologies.Mahulikar, the head of varsity’s Sanskrit department, defended the lecture by Anand J Bodas, even as the latter raised eyebrows by saying that ancient Indian planes -“vimaanas“ -were powered by 40 engines each and could travel from one planet to another.

“The basic structure of vimaanas would be 60 feet by 60 feet, in some cases as large as 200 feet. There used to be 40 small engines in the plane. The exhaust pipes were flexible like the trunk of an elephant,“ Captain Bodas, a former principal of a flight training academy in Kerela, said at the event on Sunday.

He said that the exhaust pipes would be made of fabric and animal skin, and showed a diagram of an ancient aircraft.

The inclusion of Bodas’s lecture at 102nd Indian Science Congress, which got underway at the university’s Kalina campus on Saturday, had sparked a major controversy with NASA scientist Ram Prasad Gandhiraman launching an online petition against it. Gandhiraman had described the lecture’s subject as pseudo-science and asked the organisers to drop it as it undermined the “integrity of the scientific process“.Others from the scientific community had also objected to the lecture.

Bodas, however, appeared unfazed by the row. He said that the ancient Indian definition of a plane was a “vehicle which travels through air from one country to another, one continent to another and one planet to another“. He also made a mention of “Parlok“.

He spoke about the diet and suit of pilots of vimaanas, quoting from Vaimanika Shastra, a text he claimed was composed by Maharshi Bhardwaj between 6,000 and 7,000 BCE.

The pilots’ suits, Bodas claimed, would be made of wool, cotton and vegetation and would be “shock and virus-proof“.

When asked about Gandhiraman’s petition against his lecture, Bodas said: “I haven’t received any petition yet. I’ll cross the bridge when I get there.“ Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, who inaugurated the symposium, said that he was not a scientist and that he had not been aware of any controversy regarding Bodas’s lecture.

Gandhiraman, however, told Mirror: “I think young students at the event should be listening to scientists behind the Mangalyaan and Chandrayaan missions, or to scientific studies of ancient India’s real achievements in astronomy, art, architecture and mathematics rather than to non-scientific claims regarding aviation.“

Earlier at the symposium, ayurvedic doctor Ashwin Sawant, who is a visiting faculty member for Sanskrit at Mumbai University, delivered a lecture in which he claimed that earliest references to caesarean births were found in the Rig Veda.Sawant also said that many modern medical procedures were conducted in ancient India, including cataract surgery.

Professor S B, Nimse, general president of the Indian Science Congress, said the symposium was a scientific exercise and not “anti or pro anything“. “I received many calls asking why did I allow such a session to take place for the first time in the Indian Science Congress. But I said science means inquiry and free speech,“ he said referring to the lecture on ancient Indian aviation technologies.

The symposium ended with shouts of `Bharat Mata ki Jai’ from the audience.