The Vimanika Shastra - Second Chapter
Possible technical details of ancient Vimanas based upon the descriptions in the text
☞ "Oosh mapaastriloha Mayaaha." Sootra 1.
"Ooshmapaa metals are made up of 3 metals."
The heat-proof metals are made out of the three, Souma, Soundaala, and Morthweeka mentioned in the previous chapter. It is said in "Loha Ratnaakara" that each of the three yields varieties of seed metals. Their names are, in souma group,--souma, soumyaka, sundaasya, soma, panchaanana, ooshmapa, shaktigarbha, jaangalika, praanana, shankha, and laaghava; The names of the metals of soundeera origin, are viranchi, souryapa, shanku, ushna, soorana, shinjikaa, kanku, ranjika, soundeera, mugdha, and ghundaaraka. In the mourthweeka group, the 11 are anuka, dvyanuka, kanka, tryanuka, shvetaambara, mridambara, baalagarbha, kuvarcha, kantaka, kshvinka and laghvika.
☞ "Melanaath" Sootra 2.
The said metals are to be mixed in requisite proportions and melted. It is said in "Lohatantra" that ushnambhara metal is produced by mixing numbers 10, 5, 8 of soma, soundala, mourthweeka groups of metals respectively in the proportion of 1, 3, 7, and mixing with one third the quantity of tankana or borax and melting in the crucible. Similarly taking metals no, 3, 5, and 7 respectively in the three groups in the proportion of 4, 1, and 8, and mixing with tankana, and melting in crucible, the metal ooshma is obtained. Metal ooshmahana is produced by melting metals 2, 5, and 9 from the three groups in the proportion of 6, 3, and 7, with tankana. Metal Raaja is produced by melting nos. 3, 8, and 2 of the three groups as before. Similarly metal Aamlatrit is produced by taking numbers 9, 7, 1 in the three metal groups, in the proportion of 10, 7, 8 and mixing with tankana and melting as prescribed.
Similarly metals 6, 4, 5, respectively in the proportion of 5, 5, 12, melted with tankana or borax, will yield the metal veerahaa. The metal panchaghna is got by taking numbers 8, 6, and 4 of the three groups in the proportion of 20, 18, 26, and mixing with tankana or borax and melting.
The metal agnitrit is produced by mixing numbers 5, 2, 10, in the proportion of 30, 20, and 10, and melting with borax in the crucible. The metal bhaarahana is produced by mixing numbers 7, 11, and 6 in the three groups in the proportion of 5, 12, and 7, mixing with borax, and melting in the crucible.
To produce metal sheetahana, metals 10, 9, and 3 in the three groups respectively, in the proportion of 22, 8, and 10, should be mixed with borax and melted in the crucible. Garalaghna is produced by taking numbers 11, 10, and 11 in the three groups in the proportion of 20, 30, and 8, and melting with borax in the crucible.
Similarly Aamlahana is produced by taking numbers 11, 8, and 4 in the three groups in the proportion of 20, 12, 36, and melting with borax in the crucible. Metal Vishambhara is produced by taking numbers 19, 8, and 10 in
the three Ooshmapa groups respectively in the proportion of 20, 12, and 6, and melting with borax in the crucible.
Metal vishalyakrit is produced by taking numbers 3, 5, and 11, in the proportion of 20, 12, and 6, and melting in the crucible with borax. Dwijamitra is produced by taking numbers 8, 3, and 9 in the pro-portion 5, 8, 10, and melting with borax in the crucible. And metal Vaatamitra is produced by taking numbers 8, 6, and 5 in the three groups of Ooshmapa metals, in the proportion of 22, 8, and 10, and adding borax and melting in the crucible.
Mooshaadhikaranam: The Crucible.
☞ "Panchamaad dwitheeyay " Sootra 3.
"From the 5th variety in the 2nd group."
According to "Nirnayaadhikaara", the melting of the superior, medium, and inferior kinds of metals is to be done in 407 different kinds of crucibles. They are divided into 12 groups. For the melting of the root-metals the second group of crucibles is considered the best.
Lallacharya also states that metallurgists mention 12 kinds of metals: kritaka or artificial, apabhramshaka or corrupted, sthalaja or mud-born, khanija or found in mines, jalaja or aquatic, dhaatuja or mineral-born, oshadhivargaja or vegetation-born, krimija or evolved from vermin, maamsaja or flesh-born, kshaaraja or grown from salts, baalaja or hairborn, and andaja or resultant from eggs. Different classes of crucibles are to be used for melting different kinds of metals. In the second class of crucibles there are said to be 40 varieties. Of them, number 5, known as antarmukha or inward-mouthed, is prescribed for melting the root-metals.
It is described in "Mooshaakalpa" or art of making crucibles. 8 parts of gingelly manure or black-gram flour, 4 parts of metal rust, 3 parts of metal, 3 parts of laangalee or jussieuea repens or gloriosa superba, 6 parts of gum arabic, 2 parts of ruruka, 3 parts of salt-petre, 5 parts of creepers, 6 parts of charcoal, 5 parts of 5 kinds of grasses, 4 parts of paddy husk ashes, 2 parts of red arsenic, 2 parts of naagakesara, 5 parts of varolika
flower, 5 parts of borax, 2 parts of black laamancha or scented grass or andropogon muricatus, 5 parts of sindoora or red ochre, 2 parts of gunja seeds or wild liquorice, 4 parts of sea-foam, all these are to be ground and made into fine flour, to which are added equal quantity of gum and 5 parts of earth and dust, and the whole is baked in a vessel with shivaaree oil for 3 yaamaas or 9 hours. When the contents have unified and become properly fluid, it should be poured through the nozzle into the crucible mould, and allowed to rest. The resultant crucible, known as "antarmukha," would be best suited to melt the metals required for producing a Vimaana.
Athha Vyaasatikaadhikaranam: The Fire-place.
☞ "Athha Kundas-Saptamay-Nava". Sootra 4.
"Then fire-place, number 9 in class 7."
Having dealt with crucible in the last sootra, we now consider the fire-place.
Experts mention 532 varieties of vyaasatikaas or fire-places. Of them Koorma-vyaasatika, or tortoise-shaped fire-place is best suited for melting the seed-metals for the Vimaana.
Kunda-kalpa or the art of furnace construction mentions 532 kinds of furnaces. They are divided into seven classes, each including 76 varieties. Furnace no. 9 in the 7th class, is best suited for melting the requisite metals of the vimaana, and its name is koorma-vyaasatikaa, or tortoise-shaped furnace.
It is said in "Kunda-nirnaya ", that on a prepared ground, a quadrilateral or circular shaped furnace 10 feet wide should be constructed, shaped like a tortoise. In order to place the bellows, there should be constructed a pedestal shaped like a tortoise, and with five faces. In the middle of the furnace arrangements should be made for placing the crucible. On either side of the furnace there should be an enclosure for stocking charcoal. And on either side there should be a mechanism for receiving the molten metal.
Athha Bhastrikaadhikaranam: The Bellows.
"Syaad-bhastrikaashtame Shodashee" Sootra 5.
"The bellows should be number 16 in the 8th class."
The making of bellows is referred to in this sootra. It is said in "Bhastrikaa Nibandhana," that as there are 532 kinds of furnaces, there are 532 kinds of bellows. Narayana also says that there are 532 varieties of bellows used in melting metals. They arc divided into 8 classes. In the eighth class, the variety numbered 16 is the one suited for the tortoise--shaped furnace. The construction of bellows is described in the work "Bhastrikaa-Nibandhana", as follows:
The barks of suitable trees, leather, thick cloth made from milk cream, bark of areca-nut palm tree, and trinetra (bael? Bengal Quince?), shundeera, suranji, silk-cotton, sheneera, munjaakara, and jute by due processing yield suitable cloth of 605 varieties with which pretty and attractive bellows could be made, with fittings of wood or copper.
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