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Has the World Ended Before?

I'd been thinking of posting obscure stories from Indian mythology for sometime now and inspired by pagan temple's post I started hunting down one story I'd read in a comic book.

In that story, the evil Asuras (demons) are granted a boon and they build cities. They are built such that, city #1 is always stationary and bound to the ground, city #2 is stationary in the sky and city # 3 was a free floating city that could travel great distances very fast. The cities, when separate and not aligned, were absolutely indestructible.. thanks to the master artistry of heaven's architect, Vishwakarma.

As can be expected, drunk on power with illusions of invincibility, the demons start terrorizing earth and humans. Lord Shiva is called upon to stop them by using his powerful (nuclear?) weapon. The Devas (Gods) plot and manipulate events such that the three satellite cities are forced to align one above the other for just a few seconds within which Shiva destroys them.

Humans are saved. Devas are happy. Asuras are dead. End of story? Not quite! Coz when was searching the net for this story I came across so many descriptions of space crafts, stealth bombers, missiles and all in ancient Indian texts that ppl today consider as part of mythology. Gah!

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In the Vedic literature of India, there are many descriptions of flying machines that are generally called Vimanas.

According to Dr. Vyacheslav Zaitsev: "the holy Indian Sages, the Ramayana for one, tell of "Two storied celestial chariots with many windows" "They roar like off into the sky until they appear like comets." The Mahabharata and various Sanskrit books describe at length these chariots, "powered by winged lighting...it was a ship that soared into the air, flying to both the solar and stellar regions."

'Vymanika Shastra' he said the ancient flying devices of India were made from special heat absorbing metals named 'Somaka, Soundalike and Mourthwika.' He said the text also discussed the seven kinds of mirror and lenses installed aboard for defensive and offensive uses. The so-called 'Pinjula Mirror' offered a sort of 'visual shield' preventing the pilots from being blinded by 'evil rays' and the weapon 'Marika' used to shoot enemy aircraft 'does not seem too different from what we today called laser technology,' he said.

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I have read another book "Cave of the Ancients " by T.Lobsang Rampa a Tibetian lama. In this book, he describes a cave near Tibet which is guarded coz it holds secrets of an ancient technologically advanced civilization.

What I don't understand is why people don't talk about these things more or experiment with the things known to prove or disprove them.

why the indifference?

why why whyyyy...

20 Responses to “Has the World Ended Before?”

  1. # Anonymous jedi

    possibly coz some wiseguy used it for bad stuff. so once bitten twice hidden types.

    btw in oriental history, meditation and practice have been known to enable ppl to do amazing things. add to that, the fact that we dont use even 10% of our brains.  

  2. # Anonymous Uday

    'cuz according to modern science, ANYTHING that even remotely ties in to "ancient" is fiction. I've heard several scientists make such statements - "Blindly discard anything that relies or links to ancient"

    But they r nt to be blamed completely too. Several cons will try to sell say a magnetic disc saying its an ancient form of treatment. And there's so much of such crap arnd that even the genuine ones are hurt...  

  3. # Anonymous Uday

    Disclaimer: I dont intend to say that magnetic discs are not helpful. I jst took it as an example as some of my relatives tried it and it dint help nobody...  

  4. # Blogger sou

    jedi - haha! once bitten twice hidden ..cleverrr! :)

    well actually (not that i've researched this.. but) its also Indian history where meditation and yoga is supposed to have been practiced to such a stage where they have been able to bend the natural laws.

    uday - ok.. I can understand a few scientists dismissing them but all! I mean not ONE person is interested in pursuing these further.. I find that extremely hard to believe.

    reg the magnet stuff.. well they are lucky nth bad came out of it. It's not uncommon for half baked knowledge causing trouble.  

  5. # Blogger phreakv6

    you gotta see "the holy mountain".
    there is so much mysticism depicted in the movie. they show an advanced race of men who work in fields of weapons, arts, science, politics, medicine, cosmetics, architecture, law etc. these men are apparantly the most powerful men in the universe. they show devices that can let you travel at unimaginable speeds, weapons unfathomable and application of human intelligence unmatchable. these men give up everything they have for becoming buddhist monks and to attain immortality which they are said to acheive when they reach the top of the holy mountain. the movie ends with jodorowsky ( the director ) zooming out and showing the cameramen and the movie crew surrounding the 7 men and the alchemist in the movie. this was done to show that the movie was meant to be pointless as is the motive of the 7 men and the alchemist. the movie makes absurd all religion and mysticism. life is pointless. live in your present and dont be too overwhelmed/amazed by your past nor too scared of your future. this is not a nihilist perspective.  

  6. # Blogger Trauma Queen

    interesting
    reminds me of this cartoon i saw on ramayana, where ravan fliws on a machine that looks just like a fighter plane
    cool only  

  7. # Blogger Lil Yang

    Does real history that is obscured by time really matter? Myths and truths interplay to make our world. It doesn't matter which is which. In fact, lets make up an entire new history where the cast of Different Strokes was the rulers of all they surveyed.  

  8. # Blogger autogato

    Not all scientists think that ancient stuff is fiction. :) Luckily some of us have made the turn toward postmodern thinking.

    There is a great deal of value in it. Those stories have meaning. Those stories were made for a reason. Those stories carry meaning from generation to generation - they help us to make sense of our world and form our identities and have a sense of what it means to be a part of a group. We're all humans in a social context - we are socially constructed creatures. Unfortunately, some modern scientists have lost sight of that and prefer to view humans in a very isolated, independent, and mechanistic light.

    Bring on the stories, sou. Bring the on! I look forward to them.

    Thank you for this post.  

  9. # Blogger sou

    "dont be too overwhelmed/amazed by your past nor too scared of your future."

    "Does real history that is obscured by time really matter? Myths and truths interplay to make our world. It doesn't matter which is which."

    well.. ok even so.. even if we know its all maya and life is cyclic and the world probably ended before, it still fascinates me that knowledge of the past/future is not given attention.. any attention.

    We can affect philosophical snobbery and look upon such knowledge as something deserving maybe justa post and a few comments but what about the rest of the herd...? They do crazy stuff trying to "invent" things and decode stuff.. so its amazing that somehow this and a few other things like this has escaped their attention.

    My dad came up with an interesting perspective which rings very true of whatever human behaviour I've seen. He said they know this knowledge is important so they keep it close to their chest not wanting to share with anybody. So ultimately they don't do anything about it but won't let others know about it either..  

  10. # Blogger sou

    tq - yeah .. see.. even the cartoon animators can't overlook the fact that what they've animated looks like a fighter plane from an era goneby and yet they don't "comprehend" what they have animated..

    autogato - "Those stories carry meaning from generation to generation - they help us to make sense of our world and form our identities and have a sense of what it means to be a part of a group." yep! exactly! So now my mind is all excited trying to think about social structures of that/those age(s).

    yeah yeah I know it doesn't matter but it paints a pretty pattern to be able to 'realize' how many times the world has ended and recreated itself and how subtle changes have caused butterfly effect each time.

    wow I'm glad for all the view points..  

  11. # Blogger fondfire

    Hmmm.

    For one thing, it's inaccurate to call Tuesday Lobsang Rampa a Tibetan Lama. He's a big phoney.

    Otherwise, a lot of this reminds me of people here in the U. S. who think the world is only 6,000 old and that the first few thousand years of history are described in the Book of Genesis. I don't think the archaeological, paleontoligical, or historical record provides any compelling reason to think there were ever real Vimanas in the past. Maybe they existed in some way, maybe Hindu epics describe events in some other realm. I find it very unlikely that they describe the history of the world any more than the Book of Genesis does.  

  12. # Blogger autogato

    I'm glad that I can get your brain clicking, sou! Fondfire has gotten my brain clicking, as he frequently does.
    But first, a disclaimer: I do not believe that the Book of Genesis provides a literal documentation of the creation of the world.

    That said, about the Book of Genesis. I think it's a great example of how people used stories to make sense of their world. That story was passed from generation to generation. There was a great question, a great sense of confusion (i.e. "Where did the world come from? Where did WE come from?"). Humans LIKE for things to make sense - they like for the story of their lives and their existence to have a reasonable plot. Therefore stories are constructed to make life's mysteries more understandable. The Book of Genesis provided a story of the beginnings of the world to the Judeo Christian community. It answered a need.

    I'd be curious to know, though, that if a biblical book of the beginning of the world were to be written today, I wonder what it would say.  

  13. # Blogger phreakv6

    forget religion. if the answer you are searching for is for the question : "where did we come from?". i suggest reading "a brief history of time" by stephen hawking.
    but then i dont hide behind religion for finding answers. :-)  

  14. # Blogger sou

    fondfire - but you are missing the point!!!

    "I don't think the archaeological, paleontoligical, or historical record provides any compelling reasonYET to think there were ever real Vimanas in the past. Maybe they existed in some way, maybe Hindu epics describe events in some other realm."

    the point is.. that they describe in detail how to build war missiles, space crafts.. they have detailed the effects of bombs (nuclear, atomic). the point is .. how did they know? how could they possibly know?

    I'm not saying that is how the world was then but doesn't it really make you wonder? Even the most imaginative writer couldn't have been so precise as to predict the future so accurately.. which leaves only one other option.. that they actually had those machines they have described.  

  15. # Blogger fondfire

    Are you telling me that these poems actually contain the technical specifications of spacecraft? If you could actually demonstrate that to me, I'll be impressed.

    Otherwise, I'm willing to credit the human imagination a lot more than you are. Your "only one other option" doesn't seem like the only one to me. For one thing, maybe they mistook a vision of the future for a vision of the past. Or perhaps they saw something on another planet or within another dimension. But I think all those possibilities (and the one that they just plain had all this stuff) are very unlikely. I've read a lot of speculative fiction in my day and a lot of mythology and ancient literature from all over the world. I think you're discounting the power of human imagination severely!

    Is it so hard to imagine a machine with wings flying? Is it so hard to imagine a metal tube being "thrown" threw the air and spewing fire to propel itself? Is it so incredibly impossible to imagine some aftereffects of a massively powerful bomb? Some of these stories were written before gun-powder was common knowledge. People mostly seem to have been extrapolating from thunder-strikes. And actually, if we couldn't imagine the possibility of such things, we may never have tried to create them in the first place. Can you build something BEFORE you can imagine how it might work? On the other hand, we've seen people imagine how things might work long, long before there was a method to actually create such a thing. Look up Galileo's drawings and how he'd come up with the principle of helicopters and other devices in his technical drawings centuries before anything like them could be actually built.

    I would agree with you that the ancient Indian poets and mythographers seem to have recorded or created some of the most interesting human speculations from the ancient world. I suspect, if the truth could be known, that India might once have come close (or perhaps even exceeded) ancient Greek philosophy in its speculative power. (The records of those times are much scantier from India than from Greece, which is a tragedy!!) Most of the epics you speak of were probably written AFTER this philosophical flowering, after the mythological synthesis of Buddhism and early Hinduism, after some partial contacts between the philosophies of ancient Greece and ancient India (there seems to have been some tentative two-way influence: Neo-platonism might have had brahmanic influence; Carvakas and other schools may have encountered some greek philosophy through the late Alexandrian empires that briefly existed in modern-day Afghanistan and Pakistan (and we know some of those greek-speaking kings became Buddhists!)).

    So, I would not discount the possibility of human imagination so readily. The vast amount of thought going on in the ancient world led to some truly incredible speculations. I suggest you look into the "natural philosophy" (an ancient branch of philosophy that has disappeared in the face of scientific theory, which now carries on that tradition) of Empedocles. He had a world-view that included atoms, an infinite universe containing infinite world-systems (what we'd now call solar systems), and an early theory of evolution.

    I suspect the investigations you suggest have been undertaken. If they haven't, please point me to English translations (I am unfortunately ignorant of all Indian languages) of what you're referencing. I want to see how detailed and how similar these descriptions really are to what we have now.

    BTW, you should also know that people see these same kinds of things in the Bible and some of the literature that's part of the "psuedoepigrapia" and "apocrypha" of the Bible. There's some similar descriptions in ancient Greek, Roman, Norse, and Celtic mythologies. Possibly it's all distant memories of some previous super-civilization. Some Christians think that did occur, but it was all wiped out in the Flood of Noah. (And Christians who believe in a 6,000 year old world think the flood of Noah was a world-wide geological cataclysm that entirely reshaped the face of the earth, possibly rearranging continents and fosilizing all the animals then alive!) Human written records claiming to describe events that occurred long, long before the writers lived seem like very shaky evidence to me . . .

    But who knows, maybe they really got it right somewhere and I was just born in the wrong somewhere to realize it. That really is possible.  

  16. # Blogger phreakv6

    well done fondfire.. you said almost everything i wanted to say but was too lazy to. :-)  

  17. # Blogger heelers

    Hi Sou.
    Fond a comment from you last month on my blog. Was curious to see yours. Enjoyed! James  

  18. # Blogger sou

    yeah fondfire i know.. though i do know how to read sanskrit i doubt i'll be albe to dig up the "actual verses" myself. And i don't know of any sanskrit prof who'd help me .. so.. yeah i did kinda make an assumption there :) but i shall keep it in mind till a day when i'm not so lazy and i can go hunting for them and you, sir, shall be the first one to be notified!

    hello James.. nice to see you here!  

  19. # Blogger Trauma Queen

    what fondfire says makes a lot of sense
    i mean look at the works of da vinci, jules verne etc

    now who would have ever thought of a submarine
    i also liked his suggestion of a super civilization in the past that got wiped out

    u think as oscar wilde said...life imitates art????  

  20. # Blogger fondfire

    Sou,

    I sincerely will enjoy getting notification of whatever you find! I've always enjoyed what I've read of the Vedas and Indian Epics (though perhaps it helped that they were often light-weight selections or breezy summaries). Indian religion has long been an influence on me, and if there's anything compelling there that I've missed, I'd love to be able to know about it and share it with others.

    When you do find those verses in Sanskrit, I do request that you translate key passages for me! Like most Americans, I am hopelessly monolingual in a day-to-day world where everything is handed to me in my mother tongue in a way that I think much of the world outside of the Americas might find hard to understand . . . There are really only four major languages on these two continents (Spanish, English, Portuguese, and French) and it's so easy for us to forget about the rest . . .

    Trauma Queen, I do think life often imitates art, as the best art is really the front lines of the imagination . . . (With engineering probably running a close second in cooperation with the hard sciences . . .)  

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