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The Story of Vimanas (Part 2)

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The Story of Vimanas (Part 2)

Post  Jackie (Admin) on Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:54 pm

(Cont.) from

"...Typically, the user's status is indicated by the password he types when he begins to use the computer. Different users will have pass- words indicating different status levels. Above all other users is a per- son called (in the Unix operating system) the superuser, who has full control over all programs on the system. Often this person is responsi- ble for creating the total system by loading various pieces of software into the computer.

According to the Vedic conception, the universe has a similar or- ganization. The superuser corresponds to the Supreme Being, who manifests the total universal system. Within that system there is a hierarchy of living beings having different statuses. A being at the ordinary human level has many remarkable powers, such as the power of speech, and a being at a higher level, such as Kardama Muni, can ; manifest even greater powers. When we grow up using a certain power, ' we tend to take it for granted, and when we completely lack access to a power, we tend to regard it as impossible or mythological. But all of the powersÑincluding the power to call up flying palacesÑare simply programs built into the universal system by the superuser.

The parallel between the Vedic conception of the universe and a computer can be made more explicit by introducing the concept of a virtual reality system. It is possible to create an artificial world by computer calculation and equip human participants with sensory interfaces that give them the impression of entering into that world. For example, a participant will have small TV screens placed in front of his eyes that enable him to see from the vantage point of the virtual eyes of a virtual body within the artificial world. Likewise, he may be equipped with touch sensors that enable him to experience the feel of virtual objects held in that body's virtual hands. Sensors that pick up his muscle contractions or his nerve impulses can be used to direct the motion of the virtual body.


Many people can simultaneously enter into a virtual world in this way, and they can interact with one another through their virtual bod- ies, even though their real bodies may be widely separated. Depending on their status, as recognized by the computer's superuser, the differ- ent virtual bodies may have different powers, and some of these pow- ers might be invoked by uttering code words, or mantras.

An extremely powerful virtual reality system provides a metaphor for the Vedic universe of maya, or illusion, in which conscious souls falsely identify themselves with material bodies. Of course, this meta- phor should not be taken literally. The universe is not actually running on a digital computer. Rather, it is a system of interacting energies which, according to the Vedic conception, has features of intelligent design and organization reminiscent of certain manmade computer systems

Returning to the story of Kardama Muni, we find that after having acquired his marvelous flying palace, he proceeded to travel to dif- ferent planets with his wife:

Satisfied by his wife, he enjoyed in that aerial mansion not only on Mount Meru but in different gardens known as Vaisrambhaka, Surasana, Nandana, Puspabhadraka, and Caitrarathya, and by the Manasa-sarovara lake.

He traveled in that way through the various planets, as the air passes uncontrolled in every direction. Coursing through the air in that great and splendid aerial mansion, which could fly at his will, he surpassed even the demigods.34

In the Sanskrit, the Devas are referred to here as vaima-nikan, which means the "travelers in vima-nas." Thus the verse literally says that Kardama Muni's vima-na excelled the vaimanikan. The Sanskrit word for planets is loka, which can refer to other physical globes and to higher-dimensional worlds not accessible to ordinary human senses.

The idea of calling up universal programs figures in another story that involves a vimana. It seems that there is a kind of mystical armor called Narayana-kavaca, which is called up by invoking the names of the Supreme Being. (Narayana is a name of the Supreme, and kavaca means armor.) At one time, a bra-hmana named Kausika used this armor and later gave up his physical body. Still later, the Gandharva king, Citraratha, experienced some strange interference with his vimana when he passed over the remains of Kausika's body:

Surrounded by many beautiful women, Citraratha, the King of Gandharvaloka, was once passing in his airplane over the brah- mana's body at the spot where the brahmana had died.

Suddenly Citraratha was forced to fall from the sky headfirst with his airplane. Struck with wonder, he was ordered by the great sages named the Valakhilyas to throw the brahmana's bones in the nearby River Sarasvat,-. He had to do this and bathe in the river before returning to his own abode.35

An example of a vimana used for military purposes comes up in the story of Bali, a king of the Daityas. Bali's vehicle is very similar to the one obtained by Salva, and it was also built by Maya Danava. It was used in a great battle between the Daityas and the Devas:

For that battle the most celebrated commander in chief, Maharaja Bali, son of Virocana, was seated on a wonderful airplane named

Vim6nos in the Vedit Literoture

Vaihayasa. O King, this beautifully decorated airplane had been manufactured by the demon Maya and was equipped with weap- ons for all types of combat. It was inconceivable and indescribable. Indeed, it was sometimes visible and sometimes not. Seated in this airplane under a beautiful protective umbrella and being fanned by the best of camaras, Maharaja Bali, surrounded by his captains and commanders, appeared just like the moon rising in the evening, illuminating all directions.36

My final example of a vimana is taken from the story of the sacrifice of Daksa. It seems that Sat,-, the wife of Lord Siva, wanted to attend a sacrifice arranged by her father Daksa, but Siva did not want her to attend because of Daksa's offensive attitude toward him. Here we see Satl entreating her husband to let her go to the sacrifice after seeing her relatives traveling there in vimanas:

O never-born, O blue-throated one, not only my relatives but also other women, dressed in nice clothes and decorated with ornaments, are going there with their husbands and friends. Just see how their flocks of white airplanes have made the entire sky very beautiful.3l

All of the beings referred to here are Devas or Upadevas. We can see from this and the other examples that vima-nas were considered to be standard means of travel for beings in these categories.

Wendelle Stevens mentioned a study on the origin of UFOs carried out by a think tank in Brussels called Laboratoire de Recherche A. e Kraainem This study concluded that after reaching a certain stage of technology, a civilization will leave its home planet and "live in huge 'mother-ships,' artificial worlds, of their own creation perfectly adapted to their own needs and constantly maintained and perfected by them. . . . The artificial worlds are entirely self-sufficient and depend on no other planet or physical body for support. They are maintained and cruise [in] space indefinitely." 38

The Mahabharata also has this idea of self-sustaining flying cities that travel indefinitely in outer space. In this section and the next two, I will give several examples of this. The first is the flying city of Hiran- yapura. This was seen floating in space by Arjuna while he was traveling through the celestial regions after defeating the Nivatakavacas in a great battle. Arjuna was accompanied in his celestial journey by a Deva named Matali, and he asked him about the city. Matali replied:

There once were a Daitya woman called Puloma and a great Asuri Kalaka, who observed extreme austerities for a millennium of years of the Gods. At the end of their mortifications the self- existent God gave them a boon. They chose as their boon that their progeny should suffer little, Indra of kings, and be inviolable by Gods, Raksasas and Snakes. This lovely airborne city, with the splendor of good works, piled with all precious stones and impreg- nable even to the Immortals, the bands of Yaksas and Gandharvas, and Snakes, Asuras, and RakSasas, filled with all desires and vir- tues, free from sorrow and disease, was created for the Kalakeyas by Brahma, O best of the Bharatas. The Immortals shun this celes- tial, sky-going city, O hero, which is peopled by Pauloma and Kalakeya Asuras. This great city is called Hiranyapura, the City- of-Gold.39

Here the inhabitants of the city, the Paulomas and Kalakeyas, are identified as the descendants of two rebellious relatives of the Devas named Puloma and Kalaka. The "snakes" are a race of mystical beings, called Nagas, that can assume humanlike or serpentine form (see pages 312-16). The "self-existent god" is Brahma, who is understood to be the original progenitor of all living beings within the material universe. Since Brahma's origin is transcendental, and he has no material parents, he is said to be self-existent. The immor- tals are the Devas. They are referred to as immortal because they live for millions of our years. However, according to the Vedas, all em- bodied beings in the material universe have a finite life span and must die after some time.

With his superior powers, Brahma arranged for the Paulomas and Kalakeyas to have a flying city that could not be successfully attacked by various powerful groups of beings within the universe, including the Devas. However, he left open a loophole for the Devas by declaring that the flying city could be successfully attacked by a human being.

Arjuna was half human, half Deva. His mother was an earthly woman, and his father was Indra, the king of the Devas. Indra had equipped Arjuna with celestial weapons just for the purpose of de- feating enemies of the Devas who had obtained protective benedic- tions from Brahma that didn't apply to humans. Thus Arjuna decided that it was part of his mission to attack Hiranyapura. Here is Arjuna's account of what happened after his initial attack:

When the Daityas were being slaughtered they again took to their city and, employing their Danava wizardry, flew up into the sky, city and all. I stopped them with a mighty volley of arrows, and blocking their road I halted the Daityas in their course. But because of the boon given them, the Daityas easily held their celestial, divinely effulgent, airborne city, which could move about at will. Now it would go underground, then hover high in the sky, go diagonally with speed, or submerge in the ocean. I assaulted the mobile city, which resembled Amaravati, with many kinds of missiles, overlord of men. Then I subdued both city and Daityas with a mass of arrows, which were sped by divine missiles. Wounded by the iron, straight-traveling arrows I shot off, the Asura city fell broken on the earth, O king. The Asuras, struck by my lightning-fast iron shafts, milled around, O king, prompted by Time. Matali swiftly descended on earth, as in a headlong fall, on our divinely effulgent chariot.4¡

The battle between Arjuna and the Daityas began on the surface of a planet (perhaps the earth). On being strongly attacked by Arjuna, the Daityas took off in their flying city. It is noteworthy that the city could move underground and under the water, as well as through air or outer space. Many accounts describe UFOs entering and leaving bodies of water, 41 and some stories associate UFOs with underground or undersea bases. For example, Betty Andreasson's story of the Phoenix apparently took place in a subterranean realm,42 and Filiberto Cardenas told of being taken to an undersea base.43

Aeial Assembly Houses of the Devos

According to the Maha-bharata, just as the Daityas have flying Cities such as Hiranyapura, the Devas have flying assembly houses, which are used as centers for their administrative activities. Here are some examples, beginning with the assembly hall of Indra, or Sakra, the king of the Devas. In this passage, a league is a Sanskrit yoiana, which ranges from 5 to 8 miles:

Sakra's celestial and splendid hall, which he won with his feats, was built by himself, Kaurava, with the resplendence of fire. It is a hundred leagues wide and a hundred and fifty long, aerial, freely moving, and five leagues high. Dispelling old age, grief, and fa- tigue, free from diseases, benign, beautiful, filled with chambers and seats, lovely and embellished with celestial trees is that hall where, O Partha, the lord of the Gods sits with Saci....44

It is standard for descriptions of vima-nas to say that they are bril- liantly glowing or fiery. We find the same feature in the following description of Yama's hall, which was built by Visvakarma, the architect of the Devas:

This fair hall, which can move at will, is never crowdedÑVisva- karma built it after accumulating over a long time the power of austerities, and it is luminous as though on fire with its own radi- ance, Bharata. To it go ascetics of dread austerities, of good vows and truthful words, who are tranquil, renouncing, successful, pu- rified by their holy acts, all wearing effulgent bodies and spot- less robes; . . . and so go great-spirited Gandharvas and hosts of Apsaras by the hundreds.... A hundred hundred of thousands of law-abiding persons of wisdom attend in bodily form on the lord of the creatures.45

An interesting feature of Yama's hall is that it is populated by beings of many different types. This is reminiscent of the UFO phenomenon, since it is often reported that several different types of be- ings will be seen on a UFO, apparently working in cooperation. In Yama's hall, in addition to Gandharvas, Apsaras, and various kinds of ascetics, there are Siddhas, those who have a yogic body, Pitas, men of evil deeds, and "those familiars of Yama who are charged with the conduction of time."

The latter are functionaries equipped with mystic powers that enable them to regulate the process of transmigration of souls. Yama is the Vedic lord of death, who supervises the process of transmigration. Strangely enough, even here we find a parallel with reported UFO phenomena. There are many reports indicating that some UFO entities can induce people to have out-of-body experiences and then exert control over their subtle bodies (see Chapter 10). This also happens to be one of the powers of the familiars of Yama.

Another curious point about Yama's hall is that it never becomes crowded, no matter how many different beings enter into it. This is reminiscent of the UFO abduction account of "Steven Kilburn" presented by Budd Hopkins, in which a UFO seems to be much larger on the inside than on the outside.46 This suggests that within Yama's hallÑor in Kilburn's UFOÑspace is transformed in a way that goes beyond our ordinary experience (see Appendix 3).

The testimony of Betty Andreasson includes an account in which a UFO was greatly reduced in apparent size, even though there was a human passenger within it.47 Although this seems highly implausible, there are Vedic siddhis called mahima and anima that allow an object to greatly expand or contract in size, while retaining its proportions and inter- nal structure.

The assembly hall of Brahma provides another striking example of transformations of space that seem incomprehensible from an ordinary standpoint. In this case, the great sage Narada Muni visited Brahma's hall and found that he could not adequately describe its architectural layout:

Thereupon the blessed and mighty lord Sun took me and went to the faultless hall of Brahma, which knows of no fatigue. It is not possible to describe it as it really is, king of the people, for from instant to instant it has another indescribable appearance. I know neither its size nor its structure, Bharata, and never before have I seen such beauty. The hall is very comfortable, king, neither too cold nor too hot; when one enters it, one no longer is hungry, thirsty, or weary. It is as though it is made up of many different shapes, all very colorful and luminous. No pillars support it. It is eternal and knows of no decay. It is self-luminous beyond the moon and the sun and the flame-crested fire; on the roof beam of heaven it blazes as though to light up the sun. In it sits the blessed lord, O king, the grandfather of the worlds who, alone, constantly creates the worlds with his divine wizardry.45

The Aerial Monsion of Ravana

The epic called the Ra-mayana contains an interesting account of a vima-na. The main story of the Ramayana is that long ago a country on this earth named Lanka was occupied by a race of malevolent beings called Raksasas (Lanka is thought to be the island now known as Sn Lanka, although some have questioned this.) Ravana, the king of the RakSasas, reigned in Laiika from a fortified city, and it was there that he hid Slta, the wife of Lord Rama, after kidnaping her with the aid of his powers of illusion (see pages 251-52). Ravana also possessed an aerial mansion that would fly according to his mental commands and that he used for his military exploits.

Lord Rama engaged a being named Hanuman, who belonged to an intelligent monkeylike race, to find Slta and report back to him. Although born on earth in a primitive society, Hanuman was also the son of the wind-god Vayu, and thus he was equipped with mystic powers that were useful in this search. In the course of his search for Slta, he saw Ravana's aerial mansion, which was hovering over his capital city:

That heroic son of the Wind-god saw in the middle of that resi- dential quarter the great aerial mansion-vehicle called Puspaka- vimana, decorated with pearls and diamonds, and featured with artistic windows made of refined gold.

Constructed as it was by Visvakarma himself, none could gauge its power nor effect its destruction. It was built with the inten- tion that it should be superior to all sirnilar constructions. It was poised in the atmosphere without support. It had the capacity to go anywhere. It stood in the sky like a milestone in the path of the sun....

It was the final result of the great prowess gained by austeri- ties. It could fly in any direction that one wanted. It had chambers of remarkable beauty. Everything about it was symmetrical and unique. Knowing the intentions of the master, it could go any- where at high speed unobstructed by anyone including the wind itself....

It had towers of high artistic work. It had spires and domes like the peaks of mountains. It was immaculate like the autumnal moon. It was occupied by sky-ranging RakSasas of huge proportions with faces brightened by their shining ear-pendants. It was delightful to look at like the spring season and the bunches of flowers then in bloom. It had also for protecting it numerous ele- mentals with round and deep eyes and capable of very speedy movements .

Hanuman, the son of the Wind-god, saw in the middle of the aerial edifice a very spacious construction. That building, half a yojana in width and one yojana in length, and having several floors, was the residence of the king of the RakSasas....

Visvakarma constructed in the heavenly region this PuSpaka- vimana or aerial mansion-vehicle of attractive form, which could go everywhere and which augmented the desire nature of its oc- cupants. Kuvera by the power of his austerities obtained from Brahma that aerial mansion which was decorated entirely with gems, and which received the homage of the residents of all the three worlds. It was by overcoming Kuvera that Ravana, the king of the Raksasas, took possession of it.49

Especially interesting is the reference to "elementals with round and deep eyes" whose job is to protect the vimana. These beings seemed to come with the vimana itself, while the RakSasas were mere interlopers who acquired it through the military exploits of Ravana. I also note that at eight miles per yojana, the residence of Ravana on the vimana would be four miles by eight miles in size.

What About Flying Horses ond horiots?

It is clear that there are extensive Vedic traditions about human- like races of beings that can fly freely throughout the universe using '' vehicles called vimanas. But one might object that there are also Vedic stories about horse-drawn chariots that fly through the sky. Surely these stories are utterly absurd, since it makes no sense to say that an animal could run through air or outer space using its legs. Because of this absurdity, some claim, we should not take anything in the Vedic litera- ture very seriously.

. The answer to this objection is that there are indeed accounts of horse-drawn flying chariots in Vedic literatures, but these stories are not necessarily absurd. To understand them properly, it is necessary to fill in various details that will place them in context within the overall Vedic world picture. When seen in this way, both the horse-drawn chariots and the self-powered vimanas make sense. I will try to fill in the needed details by referring to a number of stories from the Maha-bharata about the Pandava hero, Arjuna. In the first story, Arjuna is traveling through space in a literal chariot drawn by horses. This description has a number of important features, includ- ing travel through space on some kind of roadway:

And on this sunlike, divine, wonder-working chariot the wise scion of Kuru flew joyously upward. While becoming invisible to the mortals who walk on earth, he saw wondrous airborne chariots by the thousands. No sun shone there, or moon, or fire, but they shone with a light of their own acquired by their merits. Those lights that are seen as the stars look tiny like oil flames because of the distance, but they are very large. The Pandava saw them bright and beautiful, burning on their own hearths with a fire of their own. There are the perfected royal seers, the heroes cut down in war, who, having won heaven with their austerities, gather in hundreds of groups. So do thousands of Gandharvas with a glow like the sun's or the fire's, and of Guhyakas and seers and the hosts of Apsaras.

Beholding those self-luminous worlds, Phalguna, astonished, questioned Matali in a friendly manner, and the other said to him, "Those are men of saintly deeds, ablaze on their own hearths, whom you saw there, my lord, looking like stars from earth below." Then he saw standing at the gateway the victorious white elephant, four-tusked Airavata, towering like peaked Kailasa. Driving on the roadway of the Siddhas, that most excellent Kuru Pandava shone forth as of old the great king Mandhatar. The lotus-eyed prince passed by the worlds of the kings, then looked upon Amara- vatl, the city of Indra.s¡

As I pointed out in Chapter 6 (pages 214-15), one important thing to notice about this passage is that Arjuna entered a region of stars where there was no light from the sun, the moon, or fire. This is what we would expect to find if we did travel among the stars. It is also stated that the stars are very large, but they seem small due to distance when seen from the earth, and this also agrees with modern ideas.

In that region, Arjuna saw that the stars were self-luminous worlds, and that they were hearths of Gandharvas, Guhyakas, and others, including "men of saintly deeds" who had been promoted to heaven. The stars themselves are spoken of as aerial chariots in this passage, and this is clearly a poetic description. They are also spoken of as persons, and this refers to the predominating persons living on them.

The next point to notice is that Arjuna was "driving on the road- way of the Siddhas," and that this roadway went past the worlds of the kings to the city of Indra. Later on, this road is spoken of as the "road of the stars" and the "path of the gods." Sl Thus it seems that Arjuna's chariot was traveling on some kind of road through outer space.

The Vi$nu Purana sheds some light on the actual route followed by Arjuna. It states that the Path of the Gods (deva-yana) lies to the north of the orbit of the sun (the ecliptic), north of Nagavlthl (the naksatras Asvinl, Bharanl, and Krttika), and south of the stars of the seven r$is. 52 Asvim and Bharam are constellations in Aries, north of the ecliptic, and Krttika is the adjacent constellation in Taurus known as the Pleiades. Asvim, Bharam, and Krttika belong to a group of 28 constellations called nak$atras in Sanskrit, and asterisms or lu- nar mansions in English. The seven r$is are the stars of the Big Dipper in Ursa Major. From this information, we can form a general idea of - the Path of the Gods as a roadway extending through the stars in the northern celestial hemisphere.

Another important celestial roadway is the Path of the Pitas (or pitr-ya-na). According to the Vi$nu Purana, this roadway lies to the north of the star Agastya, and south of Ajavlthl (the three nak$atras Mula, Purvasadha, and Uttarasadha), outside of the Vaisvanara path. 53 The region of the Pitas, or Pitrloka, is said in Vedic literature to be the headquarters of Yama, the Deva who awards punishments to sinful human beings and whose aerial assembly house was described above. This region, along with the hellish planets, is said in the Bha-gavata Pura-na to lie on the southern side of the universe, to the south of Bhu-mandala, the earthly planetary system.54

The nak$atras Mula, Purvasadha, and UttaraSadha correspond to parts of the constellations Scorpio and Sagittarius, and it is thought that Agastya is the southern-hemisphere star called Canopus. Thus from the description in the Vi$nu Pura-na we can gain an idea of the location of Pitrloka and the road leading to it in terms of familiar celestial landmarks. Such celestial roadways involve large distances, and if they go through outer space, then there is the problem of the lack of a breath- able atmosphere. What sort of horses could follow such roads? We can answer this question by recounting a Maha-bha-rata story in which Arjuna was offered a benediction by the Gandharva named Citraratha. Although Citraratha owned a vimana (see page 272), here he is concerned with horses:

O best of men, I now wish to offer each of you five brothers a hundred horses of the type bred by the Gandharvas. The mounts of the gods and Gandharvas exude a celestial fragrance, and they move at the speed of the mind. Even when their energy is spent, they do not diminish their speed....

These Gandharva horses change color at will and fly at the speed they desire. And simply by your desire, they will appear before you, ready to serve. Indeed, these horses will always honor your wish.Ss

It seems that these are mystical horses that function according to laws governing subtle categories of material energy. The roadway on which they travel is presumably of a similar nature, and the fact that they can travel vast distances on this road in a short time is due to the fact that they obey the laws governing subtle energy rather than the laws gov- erning ordinary, gross matter.

The fact that a gross human body can be carried along such a road can be understand in terms of the mystic siddhis called pra-pti and mano java discussed in Chapter 6. The basic idea is that the subtle laws include and supersede the gross laws. Gross matter obeying the famil- iar physical laws is also obeying the subtle laws. But the same subtle laws can be applied to cause gross matter to act in a way that violates the ordinary laws of physics.

Now let us consider Arjuna's chariot. Here is a description of one chariot that he used:

The chariot had all necessary equipment. It could not be con- quered by gods or demons, and it radiated light and reverberated with a deep rumbling sound. Its beauty captivated the minds of all who beheld it. Visvakarma, the lord of design and construction, had created it by the power of his austerities, and its form, like that of the sun, could not be precisely discerned.56

My tentative conclusion from this material is as follows: The technology involved in the vimanas and the flying horse-drawn chari- ots is essentially the same. It depends upon mystic powers and higher- dimensional aspects of material energy that are unknown to present-day science but are commonplace to the Devas. The vimanas are essentially architectural constructions that can fly, both in three dimensions and in higher dimensions, by virtue of powers that to us seem mystical. The Gandharva horses operate on the same mystical level, and the same is true of the chariots they draw.

If this is true, one might ask why the Devas and other related beings would bother with horse-drawn vehicles when vimanas that move by their own power are available. Judging from the Mahabharata as a whole, the answer is that these beings use horses because they like them. They make use of flying architecture when that suits their purposes, but they also have a fondness for equestrian activities. Likewise, they have powerful weapons, like the brahmastra, based on radiant energy, but they also have elaborate rules governing hand-to- hand fighting with maces. The general impression is that the Devas and Upadevas emphasize life and personal prowess over machines.

Are there any parallels between the celestial roadways of the Devas and information revealed in UFO accounts? There is a possible parallel in stories of people walking through space along beams of light. One example of this is in the report of Sara Shaw's abduction from a cabin in Tujunga Canyon, near Los Angeles, in March of 1953 (see page 188). After being hypnotized by Dr. William McCall, Sara told the following story of how she was taken on board a UFO:

McCall: Do you stand near the ship?

Sara: No, I'm starting to float. I'm starting to float toward it.

McCall: What do you mean you're starting to float toward it? Sara: Well . . . they're walking with me, but my feet aren't on the ground.

McCall: They were on the ground when you came out of the house. How come they're not on the ground now? Sara: Well, there's a beam of light. I'm likeÑit's almost like aÑ

McCall: Now you see a beam of light?

Sara: I'm on the beam of light. I'm standing on it, and it's angled. It's like an escalaÑno! It's about the same angle as an escalator 7) The Story of Vimonos

would be, except it doesn't have ridges or steps. It's just a very smooth, solid beam, and you just kinda stand on it.... McCall: What's happening with your friends? Sara: They're all around me. McCall: They're on the beam of light also?

Sara: But they're kind ofÑnow I'm walking. All of us are walk- ing, but in addition, the beam is conveying us. The beam is moving. In addition to that, we're kind of walking on it, too. But yet, like I don't feel anything under me. For example, it doesn't feel solid as if it were ground.57

If this story can be taken literally, it seems that the light beam not only nullified Sara's weight but also enabled her to balance herself in an upright stance and walk normally. Similar beam walking was appar- ently done by the beings in the Masse case (see page 229), who were said to "slide along bands of light."

A second example involves swimming up a beam of light. This phenomenon was reported by William Curtis, who experienced an abduction into a UFO in September of 1974 and recalled it in December of 1987. He had been abducted from his bedroom. At the point of being returned, he recalled being asked by his captors to jump through an opening in the bottom of the UFO, through which he could see down into his room. Here is how he described this experience:

When I fell, it felt like . . . have you ever been on a roller-coaster? That's what it felt like. It took my breath away. But I was cushioned about two feet from the roof. I could see the distortion of the shingles. And then something picked me up, straightened meThe and spun me around, and it dropped me down right through the roof! They laid me back on the bed, grabbed my arms and pulled me up....

A white light is coming through the roof and this little being is going up this light. I heard a whirring sound, like a generator coming from above. This little being as he went up was kicking his legs real fast.... He went up into a grey UFO. It seemed as if they had pressed a button and wanted me to see this. What I sawÑthe "AFM" [Alien Flying Machine] had duct work underneath it. The light went up, the ceiling went into place and that was it.58

Vimonos in Ihe Vedic Literoture

In the first of these two accounts, there is an angled beam of light that a person can walk on. In the second, there is a vertical beam and a being who travels up the beam in what seems like a swimming motion. In both stories, the events, as described, seem completely bizarre from the point of view of accepted physical principles. This is especially true in the second story, where the beam of light is apparently used to trans- fer the man's body through the roof of his house. But in the case of Sara Shaw, the intruding beings entered her cabin by passing through the panes of a window (see page 237), and this is a similar phenomenon.

The parallel between these examples and the Vedic celestial roads is that the beam seems to define a pathway through space that a person can move along by using his legs. The beings that use these pathways have powers that enable them to pass through walls, and they can carry human bodies through walls also. The Vedic celestial road is also a pathway through space that one can walk on. The horses and chariots that move on it have mystical properties, and the horses can appear and disappear at will. A human being like Arjuna can also be conveyed along such a road. The point where the analogy of celestial road to light-beam path may break down is that the celestial road is cosmic in scale and seems to be relatively permanent, whereas the light beam is small and is deployed temporarily when needed.

It turns out, curiously enough, that the celestial pathways men- tioned in Vedic literature are beams of light of a peculiar nature. Thus the Bhagavata Pura-na gives the following description of the travels of a mystic along the Path of the Gods:

O King, when such a mystic passes over the Milky Way by the illuminating Susumna to reach the highest planet, Brahmaloka, he goes first to Vaisvanara, the planet of the deity of fire, wherein he becomes completely cleansed of all contaminations, and there- after he still goes higher, to the circle of gisumara, to relate with Lord Hari, the Personality of Godhead.s9

The path followed by the mystic is the deva-ya-na path, and it is referred to here as the illuminating Susumna. According to the Sanskrit dictionary, Susumna is the name of one of the principal rays of the sun. Thus the Susumna must be some kind of light beam. Clearly, however, its position in space indicates that it is not an ordinary sunbeam. "

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