The meta-study of "Aeronautics in Ancient India?"

Dominik Wujastyk ucgadkw at
Fri Jun 27 09:46:30 UTC 1997

I was amazed to see all the messages about the Aeronautics topic in my
inbox this morning.  

As founder of this INDOLOGY discussion list, I should like to stop this
thread turning nasty (as it already shows signs of doing).  

If you wish to discuss this matter further, please restrict your comments
to the following indological topics:

 o  the locating and identifying of manuscripts and printed texts in
    Sanskrit (or Tamil, Persian, etc.) on this or related subjects; 
    Bhojaraaja's Samaraa"nga.nasuutradhaara (11 cent) is interesting in
    the context of the study of India's pre-modern technical traditions, 
    for example. 

    Please do not discuss these matters further before reading at least,
  author =          "V. Raghavan",
  title =           "{Yantras or mechanical contrivances in ancient 
  publisher =       "Indian Institute of Culture",
  year =            "1956",
  number =          "10",
  series =          "Transaction",
  address =         "Bangalore",
  edition =         "2nd ed., revised and enlarged"

and, if possible, the very interesting book

  author =          "Krishna Kanta Handiqui",
  title =           "{Ya"sastilaka and Indian Culture: Somadevas
                     Yas"sastilaka and aspects of Jainism and Indian
                     thought and culture in the tenth century}",
  publisher =       "{Jaina Sa.msk.rti Sa.mrakshaka Sangha}",
  year =            "1949",
  number =          "2",
  series =          "{Jiivaraaja Jaina Granthamaalaa}",
  address =         "Sholapur",
  note=             "Somadeva composed the Y. in AD 959.  He was a Jain
                   monk, and worked in the Ga"ngaadhara, in the area of
                   modern Dharwar District (perhaps modern Gangawati), 
                   N. Karnataka."

 o  the history of scientistic thinking amongst indologists;  i.e., the
    meta-history of aeronautics, atomic energy, etc.  This is a very
    interesting subject, and quite topical given some recent publications
    appearing in India's premiere history of science journal, IJHS.

 o  This is not the forum in which to discuss whether or not there were
    aeroplanes in India or elsewhere before the Wright brothers.  It is 
    taken as a given in serious indology that there were not.  If you
    think the indological establishment is wrong, write a convincing book
    arguing your case, and it might get discussed in this forum at a 
    later time.  

Anyone persistently raising the topic of the existence of advanced science
and technology in ancient india at the non-meta discussion level will be
cautioned and then (if persisting) dropped from the Indology list.

Anyone insulting anyone (except themselves) will be subject to the same

This list has a history of being decent, polite, collegial, and generally
civilized.  Let's try hard keep it that way: we'll all benefit. 

Best wishes,

Dominik Wujastyk               Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine
email: d.wujastyk at          183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, England
<URL:>                    FAX: 44 171 611 8545

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