Yantra Shastra of ancient India


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Yantra Shastra Machines and Mechanics of ancient India By Dr. A.S. Nene n ene_ashok@yahoo.com Retired Professor of Civil Engineering, VNIT Nagpur (India)

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2 Definition of common terms used in Shilpashtra

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3 1. Shilpa - The word is derived from a root – Sheel samadhau and literally means any thing that pleases your mind. Sage Bhrugu has defined Shilpa as creation of different materials with the help of machines , techniques and arts.

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4 2. Shilpa Shastra - The science related to a particular subject comprising different techniques skills or arts. 3. Shilpa Samhita –A compilation of rules and procedure related to a particular science. 4. Vidya –A techniques related to creation or execution of a Shilpa. 5. Kala - An art or skill acquired by practice and experience. Even a blind of deaf person can master any particular skill.

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5 S age Bhrugu Devided entire Shilpashtra into Subjects - 51 Volumes - 3 Sciences - 10 Techniques -32 Arts - 64

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6 Three volumes of Shilpashastra .. Khanda -Part A.Dhatu Khand - Resurces Part B. Sadhan Khand -Transportation Part C. Vastu Khand -Habitation Part

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7 A- Dhatu Khand - Resources Part 1-Krushi Shastra -Biological resources. 2-Jala Shastra - Water resources. 3-Khani Shastra -.Mining resources.

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8 B- Sadhan Khand -Transportation Part 4-Nauka Shastra- -Water Transport 5-Ratha Shastra-Surface Transport 6-Viman Shastra-Air / Space Transport

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C- Vastu Khand - Habitation Part 7-Vastu Shastra –Dwelling 8-Prakar Shastra-Forts & Castles 9-Nagar Rachana Shastra-Town Planning Common to all 9 Shastras 10-Yantra Shastra-Machines & Mechanism

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Yantra Shashtra is the tenth Shashtra C ommon to all other nine Shashtra(s). D oes not contain any technique or Skill ( Vidya or Kala). Very few ancient references are available on this subject.

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Definition of Yantra (Machine) Earth ( Pruthwi ) is naturally inert and has no tendency of motion. Samarangan Sutradhar gives a definition of a Yantra (Machine).

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Five basic elements: Yantra is contrivance consisting of five elements. These mechanical contrivances also have a sequence suited to the five elements as under,

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Lever ( Danda ) is especially useful for Uchhatan or breaking or stirring of the ground ( Pruthwi ). To use lever (rod) there must be a strong support. The force is applied at the end of lever. Bhu-yantras - (related to earth) are of four types Rhuju – Bhagna (Straight –Bent): a crow bar is straight but pick axe is bent. Yugma-Ayugma (pair or single): Nut cracker, nose-pliers scissors etc consist of pair of levers joined at the end or at middle. Handles of many appliances or a walking stick contain a single ( Ayugma ) liver. Sama-Vishama (Equal-Unequal): some balances such as compound balance the levers are not of same length. 1-Danda (Lever)

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Pulley (Chakra ) is specially designed for controlling ( Vashikaran ) the motion of water ( Aap ) . 2. Pulley (Chakra )

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Gear ( Danta ) - toothed wheel is particularly useful for sthambhan -stopping of air ( Vayu ). Such wheels work in pairs. The diameters of these wheels may be same or different. In some machines the gears are connected with chain. 3. Danta (Geared wheel /Gear)

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4.Inclined plane ( SaraNi ) Sarani is a device in which one part goes upward and another part goes down by same distance. In ancient water lifting device water bucket was attached to a rope pulled by oxen moving on a sloping ground to reduce the load. Same principle is used in rope and pulley system in which load is lifted by inclined rope moving around a pulley.

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5.Jaran of light ( tej ) Jaran is a device to control or concentrate light such as lenses,binoculars , telescope etc.

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6-Bramani –Screw Screw ( BhramaN ) –mainly useful for killing or annihilation ( mAraN ) of time space ( Aakash ). In such device load is applied by a plate attached to a screw to move the plate towards or away from objects. The common examples of Bramani are screw jack , screw press used by book binder or table vice used in a workshop.

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Aritra (Oar) - for navigation of a boat. Number of oars may be 1 to 100 (boats used in boat race). Matsya-danda (Fishing rod/line) for catching fish Lat (cranes) – used on ships for loading or unloading cargo. Tari (Rafts) - used for water transport. All the above jalayantras are base on lever principle. Jala-yantras - related to water

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Chakra (wheel): A wheel rotates about an axis at centre or away from centre. Wheels were grouped under three heads; Chala-Achala (Moving-stationary)- two wheels of flour grinding wheels are the examples of these types. II. Sama-Visham (Equal-unequal) – Sama wheel rotates around its concentric axis but Vishama wheel rotates around its non-centric axis. III. Abheda-Putabheda (Plainer-Non-plainer) – Abheda wheels rotates in a single plane but Putabhedana wheels rotate in two different planes. Lime grinding mill is a good example of Putabhedan wheels.

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Ancient Indian sage corelated the five physical element ( Panchamahabhootas ) to machines ( Yantras ). Ancient engineering philosophy

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Element Earth Water Air Light Space Property Denseness Fluidity Unsteadiness Heat Incompressibility Function Expel /Extract Control Storage Concentrate Killing Sage Kashyapa Vashishhta Bhrugu Agasyta Vishvamitra Bharadwaj God Indra VaruN Vayu sun Bramha Technique Animal Fish Bird Men Shani Yini Sense Feet Hands Wings Eyes Mind Brain Vehicle Lever Wheel Gear Chain Screw Machine Chariot Boat Aeroplane Binocular Knowledge Mantra Explosive Attraction Storage Concentration Expansion Use Mixing Stirring Rotation Firing Killing Examples Arches Water cocks Fans Lenses Inner Knowledge Table: Yantras and their associations

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Three parts of a machine A mechanical contrivance Yantra consists of three parts, viz Prime mover or producer of motion ( Beej ). Fulcrum or the pin joining power and work ( Kilak ). Energy or the power for doing the work ( Shakti ).

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• Tiryak or slant • Urdwa or upward • Adho – downwards • Prushtha - Bacward • Purat - Forward • Parshwatha – Sideways The various kinds of motion are classified as,

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1. Gaman –motions backward or forward 2. Saran- Motion left or right sideways 3. Patan –Motion upward or downward These six are sorts are named as

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20 Desirable qualities of a machine Application for force suited to the work and time Proper contact Smoothness Requiring no attention Continuous action Lightness or requirement of as little force as possible

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Silence Loud sound when that is the object to be gained No looseness No sticking fast or clogging Proper attachments of all the parts particularly bolts used for transmitting motion No intermittence or break in action

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Perfect attachment of the desired object Adjustment as to time in simultaneous actions Doing desired action exactly at the desired moment Return to the normal condition at other times No peeling off proper form and shape Strength Softness and elasticity Long life

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Ancient quotations related to Yantra Shastra "Rules of Vastushashtra cannot be applied to hydraulic machines“- Vastu Jyotishy "A watermill rotates continuously as the sky moves“ - Bhaskaracharya "There are people with big tummies similar to watermills“ Rajaratna "Water fountains, watermills and artificial rains are the wonders of water“- RajagruhanirmaaN "Pots of moving watermill are empty, partially filled or full, similar as Destiny!”- - Nitishastra

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India’s Contribution to Mankind Mantra,Tantra and Yatra All actions (or reactions) are of two types namely Savitri or Srushti . The prime mover of any action is termed as Savitri and the work done by the prime mover is termed as Srushti .

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Mantra- control of physical elements (wind, water, fire etc) to get the work done. Tantra - The physical energy of all living things (technique). Yantra- mechanical contrivances to get the work with less effort and in less time. (machines)

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Indian Myths turned into invention of Yantras Mahabharat Sanjay describes war to Dhrutarashtra – Invention of TV Yudhishier’s Ratha moves above ground – Invention of Hovercraft Description of weapons used in the war – Invention of missiles. Ramayan Description aircrafts used by Ravana & Rama- Invention of Airplanes and Spacecrafts

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Ancient References SamaranganaSutradhar ( Bhojdeo ) chapter 31 YantrarNav Yantrasarvasva Yantra Chitamani

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Modern References Vaze , K.V. (1924),” Pracin Hindi shilpshashtrasar -Marathi, chapter 14-Yantrshashtra. Vaze , K.V. (1924),” Aryashilpa -Hindi Yantrashastra-Marathi,pages 46, Published by Balashshtri Kshirsagar , Kalika Prasd printing press, Ganesh Peth,Pune,price 6 anna . Vaze , K.V. (1923),”Study of Mechanics from Indian Engineering Books, Vedic Magazine Lahore, Vaze , K.V. (1925),”Physics in ancient India, Vedic Magazine Lahore, Vaze , K.V. (1955),”Unpublished articles-parts published in Shilpasansar magazine,19. Nene ,A.S .(2009) ‘Hindi Shilpashastra , chapter 10

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Wheel , the greatest contribution of India to the world Wheel was invented in India. This invention led to invention of a Cart and modern civilization

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This presentation is based on published and unpublished books and articles of Late K.V. Vaze and Late G.G. Joshi Acknowledgement

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Review the Past with modern perspective - Kautilya

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